Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Paper at Queen's

My paper at the Queen's Biennial Symposium on Communications:

Power Saving in a Biomechanical Sensor Network Using Activity Detection
Scott E. T. Hadley, Andrew W. Eckford, and William H. Gage
Wednesday, May 12, 4:50-6:10 PM (second talk in session), Walter Light Hall rm. 210

This is the first paper out of an interdisciplinary project with Will Gage in Kinesiology. The basic idea is to place accelerometers on stroke patients to monitor their recovery in walking, but the main challenge is to design a system with the robustness, endurance, and ease of use to be used in the home, rather than in the therapist's office. It's a practical project with lots of neat signal processing, and we just got a grant to continue it.

One of the key issues is to reduce power consumption and extend battery life. In this paper, we show that signal processing can help with power saving: we use activity detection to scale the sampling rate based on what the patient is doing. As a result, we strike a nice balance between power saving and data loss: switching modes, we lose about a second of data (about one step -- because it takes that long to detect acceleration with the reduced sampling rate), whereas we would lose about 30 seconds by putting the node to sleep and waking it up.

Scott will be presenting the paper. I'll be at Queen's for Wednesday only, so I hope to see you there. PDF of the paper will be posted shortly.

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