GaitScanner: The design and development of a novel autonomous, portable, subject-centred robotic system for video data acquisition of human walking gait

Author: Daniel Thomas

Thomas, Daniel, 2017 GaitScanner: The design and development of a novel autonomous, portable, subject-centred robotic system for video data acquisition of human walking gait, Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


Human gait is a commonly studied area of the human body and has been of major interest to both researchers and clinicians. Gait patterns have been used to help with the diagnosis of different disorders and conditions. Gait is typically analysed using observational analysis and a combination of the following techniques: temporal & spatial analysis, kinetic analysis, dynamic electromyography and kinematics analysis. While conventional gait analysis methods that combine the aforementioned techniques are more than capable of producing exceptional results they are also very expensive, such that they are only available in a limited number of facilities, making it difficult for patients to readily access this technology. They also require a closed/limited workspace and are relatively complex to operate such that it requires a user to undertake comprehensive training. Additionally, clinicians often schedule consultations as short as 20 minutes however, in some instances the setup for kinematic analysis can exceed this time and as a result this technology can be inconvenient to use in a clinical environment.

The GaitScanner project, which involves the development of a portable video gait analysis device, focuses on the design and developmental process for a functioning video observational gait analysis robot prototype expanding on the ideas and vision for the project that began last year. It is envisaged that the device will provide clinicians with a novel method for recording gait in high definition video using a portable and autonomous system that will follow a patient while not impeding movement. The recorded footage can then be accessed for further analysis or stored for patient monitoring. From the project requirements and after reviewing the relevant literature, the main deliverables can be broken down to 3 key areas: an enclosure to protect and cover any electronic componentry, a video playback GUI to assist in the post processing of recorded footage and an optimised control system that reduces the resultant delay of the system upon acceleration and deceleration of the device. The design process for the enclosure involved an ideation phase consisting of the initial planning for the design. The ideation phase was followed by three separate design stages with each subsequent design improving on the last. Finally, the prototype development phase is introduced, which involved the actual construction of the GaitScanner. In its current state the clinician etc. does not have a dedicated playback program to view the video footage, as such the project also involved the production a playback GUI. Once the video files have been transferred to a computer they can be selected by the program and which is displayed side by side and has the ability to be controlled simultaneously. The program also has options for inputting notes regarding the patient which can then be exported as a txt file.

Keywords: gait, observational, analysis, assessment, rehabilitation, autonomous, robot, video

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: David Hobbs