Fiber Braggs Grating Sensor Based Instrumentation to Evaluate Postural Balance and Stability on an Unstable Platform
This paper describes a novel application of Fiber Braggs Grating (FBG) sensors in the assessment of human postural stability and balance on an unstable platform. In this work, FBG sensor Stability Analyzing Device (FBGSAD) is developed for measurement of plantar strain to assess the postural stability of subjects on unstable platforms during different stances in eyes open and eyes closed conditions on a rocker board. The studies are validated by comparing the Centre of Gravity (CG) variations measured on the lumbar vertebra of subjects using a commercial accelerometer. The results obtained from the developed FBGSAD depict qualitative similarities with the data recorded by commercial accelerometer. The advantage of the FBGSAD is that it measures simultaneously plantar strain distribution and postural stability of the subject along with its inherent benefits like non-requirement of energizing voltage to the sensor, electromagnetic immunity and simple design which suits its applicability in biomechanical applications. The developed FBGSAD can serve as a tool/yardstick to mitigate space motion sickness, identify individuals who are susceptible to falls and to qualify subjects for balance and stability, which are important factors in the selection of certain unique professionals such as aircraft pilots, astronauts, cosmonauts etc.
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