|12||Pace Maker for Running
Carlos Sanchez Alberti
If you are a beginner runner you will know how difficult it is to keep a constant pace during a long run. You have some ways to measure your pace like an AppleWatch or a smartphone, they give you information about your pace and your heart rate. The only problem with this is that you don't have any feedback until your training has ended, resulting in no real way to maintain your pace throughout the run. You need instant feedback on your pace to achieve your goals.
The solution is designing and building a laser device that you will wear on your chest, capable of tracking your pace and giving you real-time feedback on your performance. To do this, we should design a laser device that changes color depending on if your pace is too fast, too slow or you are keeping the ideal pace. Furthermore, the pointer will move further if you decrease your pace or closer if you increase it.
The first component of this project is the physical mount which can be worn by the runner. As shown in Figure 1, the mount would either be worn by the user on their head, or in the case of excessive weight, it may be worn by the user on their chest. Ideally we want the mount to be as lightweight as possible, thus we will be considering using plastic.
The second component of this project is the actual ‘brain’ behind this project. It will consist of a sensor (either GPS or an odometer) that will then be used to calculate the current pace of the runner and change the laser output accordingly (this will be done by Component 3). An important consideration here would be how often we want to calculate the runner’s pace for a smooth experience (i.e. if we calculate every second, every small change in pace due to obstacles might cause unnecessary outputs, but if we calculate in larger intervals, the runner may not be able to properly maintain their pace)
The third component is the servomotor. It will be an important part of the project because it will be in charge of controlling the angle of the laser. We want this component to be as light as possible.
One of the key elements will be the battery. We have to find a powerful enough battery, furthermore it has to be rechargeable and has to last at least 30 minutes. Another important aspect of this component will be its weight and size, ideally we want it to be as small and light as possible.
This component will be used to get the input from the runner about what pace they would like to run at. It should be a simple component with not more than 2-3 buttons (for increasing, decreasing, reset).
Criteria for Success:
The runner is able to track his speed during a run with a relatively high success rate. The laser pointer changes color/angle with the required sensitivity in response to changes in pace. It should also be viewable in all conditions. Additionally, the runner does not face any difficulty while wearing the device and the run is not interrupted or disturbed by it. Lastly, the device is able to withstand the duration of the run while completing the requirements described above.