View Full Version : Device to measure position/speed during walking and wheelchair use

Richard Baker
02-13-2006, 09:30 AM
Dear all,

We are looking for a device that will log the position of a child or the
speed at which they are moving (walking, in a wheelchair or otherwise) over
the course of several days. Does anyone have such a device or know of one?
We'd be very happy top see this as a collaborative research venture if
someone has developed such a device and is seeking an application to try it
out on.

BACKGROUND: We've got a questionnaire based scale that assesses how well
children are able to walk over short (5m), medium (50m) or long distances
(500m) and would like to see whether this correlates with how often they
actually move over these distances (not necessarily walking, they may be in
a wheelchair). I'd assumed we would do this using GPS technology but I now
know that this doesn't work indoors. Obviously we could obtain the
information from a device that detects either position (as in the GPS) or
speed. (In principal we could integrate an acceleration signal but I'd be
concerned about the effect of "drift" in doing this over long periods). This
is for a Physiotherapist's PhD project and I'm really looking for a device
we can take "off-the-shelf" with a minimum of development or validation
work. We've done quite an extensive search of commercially available options
and personal contacts and have drawn a blank. We don't particularly want to
use a device that is essentially a step counter firstly because this
requires assumptions about the subject's step length and secondly because it
will not pick up wheelchair mobility.

AIM: To record the number of short (3-15m), medium (30-150m) or long trips
(300-1500m) made by disabled children over a 4 day period either on foot, in
a wheelchair or being carried.


1. record distance travelled and/or speed (whether on foot, in
wheelchair or being carried)
2. log data at 1 second intervals
3. be able to record at least 8 hours at a time without requiring
4. be able to be used over at least 3-4 days
5. operate both indoors and outdoors
6. not too heavy, large or otherwise restrictive.

Data will have to allow us to identify when trips occur and what distance is
covered during each one. Software to support this would be extremely useful
but could be developed by us.


Richard Baker

Gait Analysis Service Manager and Director Gait CCRE

Hugh Williamson Gait Laboratory

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Royal Children's Hospital

Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia

Tel: +613 9345 5354, Fax: +613 9345 5447