Faculty Advisor

Professor John M. Sullivan

Faculty Advisor

Professor Brian J. Savilonis

Faculty Advisor

Professor Holly K. Ault

Faculty Advisor

Leif Hasselquist Ph. D.

Faculty Advisor

Professor Allen H. Hoffman


The goals of this thesis were: (1) to develop a data acquisition system for measuring gait parameters and (2) to determine the effect of knee pads on gait and comfort. The data acquisition system consisted of a data acquisition card that was inserted in the PC card (PCMCIA) slot of a laptop computer, a knee goniometer, foot switches, and pressure sensors. Various drive circuits were designed to connect the different sensors to the data acquisition card. The gait analysis results showed that the knee pads do not have a significant effect on long range gait correlations calculated from the stride interval. Pressure measurements between the knee pads and the knee showed that a pressure in the range of 0 to 8.31 psi occurred when kneeling. The maximum pressure for the sensor located under the top strap of the knee pad occurred when getting into and out of the kneeling stance. The data acquisition system successfully met the design objectives. The stride interval was recorded and analyzed, and pressures were successfully measured and analyzed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





DFA, fractal analysis, knee pads, Gait in humans, Measurement, Data processing, Knee pads, Automatic data collection systems