UVU Electrical Engineering Capstone Project

Smart Skate Project (2019-2020)

Project Sponsor: Dr. Dustin Bruening and Dr. Sarah Ridge, Brigham Young University
Team Members: Mike Zimmerman and Seth Moffett

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Larry Zeng

  • Skater falling on ice
  • Electrical circuit
  • 1 Graph
  • 2 graphs
  • AFE graph
  • X and Y direction graphs
  • Accelerometer graph
  • 1 graph
  • 2 graphs
  • gx, gy, and gz graphs
  • Z direction graph
  • Strain gauge, weatstone, and instrumentation amplifies graph
  • Microcontroller, UART, Power, IMU, and SD card graphs
  • Circut design

This project was suggested by a professor from Brigham Young University. The department of exercise science wanted to update the design of a data acquiring ice skate. The current electronic design was fragile, required the use of an antiquated storage medium, and did not meet all the requirements that they wanted.

Designing the upgrade would be a fairly involved task. Almost all of the components and design uses old technologies, and would be incompatible with an updated design.

The new design consists of three major parts.

  1. Analog front end
    • Strain Gauges
    • Wheatstone Bridge
    • Signal Conditioning Circuitry
  2. Digital data gathering
    • Microcontroller analog to digital conversion
    • Inertial measurement unit
    • Mass data storage unit (SD card)
  3. Wireless transmission and receiving
    • Microcontroller Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
    • Wi-Fi router
    • Computer and software

The most difficult task in the design of this project revolved around the creation of the analog front end. The strain gauges and wheatstone bridge provide a minimal voltage out, and are not able to be read using standard analog to digital converters. Therefore, the resulting signal needed conditioning. This consisted of a differential amplifier in the form of an instrumentation amplifier. Care was required in the selection of the gain of the signal conditioning circuit to allow for a signal response sensitive enough to detect fast impacts to meet required specifications.

The digital data gathering and wireless transmission portions of the device used common industry components. This allowed for some flexibility and helped increase the speed of development. 

Students' Presentation