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Wearable Weight Estimation System

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


4th International Conference on Health and Social Care Information Systems and Technologies





Heavy working conditions, as well as sedentary behaviour, are risk factors for health. There is a lack of wearable measurement systems for monitoring carried loads while walking. Pedobarography, the study of force fields acting between the plantar surface of the foot and a supporting surface, is supposed to be useable for estimating carried loads. Purpose. The aim of this paper is to present a novel method for selecting appropriate measurement samples for weight estimation of carried load during walk and a wearable system, based on pedobarography, consisting of commercial off the shelf components. The main idea is to choose samples when half of the total weight is on the forward sensors and the other half is on the heel sensor “equipoise” in one foot while the other foot not touches the ground. Methods. The system consists of insoles with force sensing resistors, data acquisition with IOIO-OTG and analysis in Excel. Each subject was weighed on an electronic floor scale. Three walks were performed on level ground. The first walk without any added load and then with two increases of carried load. Equipoise was defined as having half the weight distributed on the heel and the other half over the metatarsal pad. An equipoise value of 0.5 represents equilibrium regarding the weight distribution on one foot, with the other foot in the air. Samples were chosen in the equipoise region of 0.5±0.1 and then the average of the samples collected during one minute estimated the total weight. Results. The system can detect increases in carried loads but has a tendency to overestimate them. The estimated value was always larger with increased weight but the system was not always linear. The average overestimation error was 16.7 kg. Discussion. This study shows that this type of wearable system is usable for estimating carried load during walk after calibration of the system to the body weight force distribution on the sensors. There is still need for future development to obtain real-time analysis and direct feedback. A smaller and lighter measurement system is also desirable. Conclusion. This study shows that the novel method, equipoise, is usable for selecting appropriate measurement samples for weight estimation of carried load during walk. This study also shows that the wearable system, consisting of commercial off the shelf components, can be used for these measurements. However, there is a tendency to overestimate the loads.


author = {Per Hellstr{\"o}m and Mia Folke and Martin Ekstr{\"o}m},
title = {Wearable Weight Estimation System},
pages = {146--152},
month = {October},
year = {2015},
booktitle = {4th International Conference on Health and Social Care Information Systems and Technologies},
publisher = {Elsevier},
url = {}