September 27, 2023

Engineers on the Federal College of Espirito Santo in Brazil have developed sensible pants that may non-intrusively observe bodily actions and supply updates to caregivers if the individuals they’re caring for are displaying indicators of misery. This software could possibly be very helpful for people who find themselves monitoring aged sufferers in healthcare amenities. The know-how can also be relevant in monitoring and quantifying actions, similar to vary of movement, for sufferers present process bodily rehabilitation. The pants comprise a sequence of fiber optic cables and a sign acquisition unit that may be carried within the pants pocket. When the optic cables are bent by the wearer’s motion, the optical sign is altered, offering a measurable sign. The system additionally consists of machine studying algorithms that interpret the optical alerts as totally different actions and classify gait.

Aged individuals can expertise falls and different well being emergencies, requiring monitoring by caregivers. Nevertheless, this may be tough to attain as it’s unimaginable to oversee such individuals all day, and putting in cameras in bedrooms, as an illustration, might create critical privateness points. Growing a non-obtrusive option to monitor somebody’s actions could be very helpful in such circumstances. This newest know-how goals to attain this by a pair of sensible pants that may observe and determine actions non-intrusively.

“Our polymer optical fiber sensible pants can be utilized to detect actions similar to sitting, squatting, strolling or kicking with out inhibiting pure actions,” mentioned Arnaldo Leal-Junior, a researcher concerned within the examine. “This method avoids the privateness points that include image-based techniques and could possibly be helpful for monitoring ageing sufferers at residence or measuring parameters similar to vary of movement in rehabilitation clinics.”

The researchers describe the know-how as a “photonic textile” and it comprises a community of clear optical fibers comprised of polymethyl methacrylate which might be simply 1 millimeter in diameter. The pants comprise 30 measurement factors in every leg, permitting the system to characterize a variety of actions.

“Fiber optic sensors have a number of benefits, together with the truth that they’re proof against electrical or magnetic interference and may be simply built-in into totally different clothes equipment resulting from their compactness and adaptability,” mentioned Leal-Junior. “Basing the system on a multiplexed optical energy variation sensor additionally makes the sensing method low-cost and extremely dependable.”

To date, the researchers have examined the know-how on human volunteers who put it by its paces by performing quite a lot of bodily actions together with strolling, squatting, sitting on a chair, and kicking. The system might determine these actions with ease.

“This analysis exhibits that it’s potential to develop low-cost wearable sensing techniques utilizing optical units,” mentioned Leal-Junior. “We additionally show that new machine studying algorithms can be utilized to increase the sensing capabilities of sensible textiles and presumably allow the measurement of recent parameters.”

Research in journal Biomedical Optics Specific: POF Smart Pants: a fully portable optical fiber-integrated smart textile for remote monitoring of lower limb biomechanics

Through: Optica