Loughborough University
Thesis-2007-Smith.pdf (28.62 MB)

Research, design and testing of a multi-function modular exercise system

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posted on 2013-06-17, 12:29 authored by Jonathan D. Smith
The aim of this research was to develop a novel multi-function exercise system for use in a broad range of applications. Market research indicates that the demand for aerobic and anaerobic exercise devices will continue to grow with the introduction of government physical activity guidelines and increased social pressure regarding health related issues. A detailed investigation of the basic exercise science fundamentals and training methodologies was conducted in order to develop a system which would provide efficient and effective training related stimuli for improving fitness. The generation, storage and utilisation of actual and virtual load and velocity profiles for use in the development of original training modes was identified as an important area of the research. The proposed solution utilises an electromechanical programmable motion control system which provides all of the necessary exercise modalities defined in the system specification. This system combines existing industrial servo drive technology with proprietary software and database facilities to provide a step change in functionality, ease of use and safety for all users. Development of these hardware and software elements was supported by the creation of a series of system models at the initial stages of the research using the computer integrated manufacturing open systems architecture (CIMOSA) modelling approach. These diagrams were an invaluable resource during the concept generation and refinement processes and have clearly demonstrated the cross-discipline applications of such formalised modelling techniques. Validation and reliability data collected during prototype testing indicated that the exercise motion generation capabilities and performance measurement facilities were comparable to existing isokinetic dynamometer equipment. Additional subject testing produced results with peak output values and parameter trends which correlated closely to those determined during clinical and academic research. These experimental results suggest that the modular exercise system could be a valuable tool for the collection of research data to be used in support of current and future training theories.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Jonathan D. Smith

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en