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A team at the University of Alberta is developing high-tech wearable sensors that can precisely track people’s movements and provide feedback on how to improve them.
“We started this project with rehabilitation applications,” assistant professor Hossein Rouhani said Wednesday, “for example, walking, standing or other typical daily activities.
Rouhani, an instructor in mechanical engineering, also runs the university’s neuromuscular control and biomechanics laboratory, where the wearable sensor system is being created.
Matchbox-sized sensors are embedded in athletic gear — from boots or skates to pads and helmets — and provide analysis of each athlete’s individual performance. Then, coaches, physiotherapists or medical staff know where improvements need to be made and how injuries can be avoided, including adjustments to joint angles, lower limb motions, motor control, movement patterns and speed.