FitItch by Brian Z and Joe K

A device to track temperature to maintain safety and to monitor running race.

Brian Zeoli, Joe Kupferberg ESE 111 Final Project

Our device, FitItch, is the future of pedometers; safety and efficiency are of top priority. FitItch came from a need for avid runners to understand their runs while maintaining safety. The device, which tracks pace to ensure users meet their fitness goals, maintains safety by monitoring skin temperature. With this data, individuals can enjoy and understand their runs safely and efficiently. The user’s data also posts instantaneously online, to make access and analysis more accessible. FitItch makes it easier to track your run, and comes with additional settings for overall functionality. With his data, the client can text friends about calories burned or simply record and track progress. Knowing caloric expenditure makes running more competitive; users strive to beat their previous bests with each run. We hope to increase the accuracy, safety, and enjoyment of running through FitItch.

To power our device, we’ve used our MintyBoost from class with battery power supplying our device through USB. The device is based off Arduino Leonardo. To communicate our data, we have access to Wi-Fi with Adafruit CC3000, which posts data online to ThingSpeak. We’ve also wired an Ethernet shield, as Wi-Fi is finicky outside of Detkin. The shield can post data while in Penn’s Detkin network; later we hope to join Penn’s network to increase the access area. ThingSpeak records steps taken, similar to a pedometer, but also distance traveled and calories burned. This data is exactly what users want: concise, accurate numbers that are available online.

For the pedometer aspect, we’ve used the ADXL335 accelerometer, which measures acceleration in all directions. The accelerometer calculates a non-moving benchmark for comparison, which serves as a baseline for the acceleration step detect. This provides a benchmark for comparison. To detect steps, we calculated an average threshold for various runners; if the accelerometer breaks that value, a step is registered. To understand the user’s desired pace, we’ve used an input system with buttons. The top height button initializes height at 4 feet; each button click increments height by 2 inches. For example, a 5-foot individual would click the top button 6 times. The bottom button initializes minutes per mile at 4, with each button click corresponding to a 10-second increase in desired time. For example, if a client wanted to run a 6-minute mile, he should click the bottom button twelve times. With this data, we can calculate the required number of steps per 10 seconds to maintain, or even exceed, the desired pace. According to research and data online, the average stride to height ratio is 0.6. We’ve used this data to calculate the desired pace for each runner. Users are alerted if their pace falls below the threshold. Our negative feedback provides an impetus to ensure runners are achieving, or exceeding, their goals. The middle button corresponds to mode. The program is initially set to input mode for height and minute per mile goal. After the first click of the mode button, the user is in step detect, or the active pedometer. Each additional click toggles between upload and step detect mode. During upload mode, the program calculates total steps taken, total distance traveled, and calories burned during exercise. FitItch posts the data to ThingSpeak for user understanding and analysis.

Our second feature uses the LM34 temperature probe. We measure temperature with a 10-step moving average to smooth out any outliers. The device is attached to the hip to ensure accurate readings. We calculate mean body temperature, or MBT, which is the best indicator for overall safety. From research, MBT=0.66* 98.6 + 0.33*(measured skin temperature). We’ve used a thermal pad, which is currently an insulating Band-Aid, to decrease the effects of wind on our device. If the user breaks 102 degrees, the maximum safe temperature during exercise, he is alerted via repeated buzzers. Bodily functions begin to break down at this temperature; we ensure the runner’s safety with an ongoing buzz from the Piezo.

We hope with the FitItch to improve running as a whole. As the future of pedometers, FitItch services the needs of both amateur and avid runners. With the input of goals and tangible post-run evaluations, users can achieve their goals much faster and safer. Temperature monitoring ensures safety during both hot and cold days. The data posted to ThingSpeak offers an opportunity for clients to understand their runs. With the FitItch, users can reach their goals faster, maintain safety, and ultimately improve their health.

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