My last project before I left Head I created an internet connected leg brace that would monitor the angle of the knee as the wearer walks throughout the day. This was with an aim to have a large amount of leg movement data post Lola’s (Head’s UX Director) knee operation. Starting with a standard leg brace, I created the necessary hardware from some basic electrical components and a Particle Photon (like an Arduino but better).

The brace reported step data (time and min/max angle of leg during step) to an API which I also created for this project. The brace also had an exercise mode. When activated, it would report live angle data to the API which was visualised on the brace’s accompanying web app. Think Nike+ for your post knee op recovery.

The first step was to figure out what sensors we needed to attach to the brace, and how. Mechano and bespoke 3D printed fixtures solved the problem.

This project required the creation of a bespoke API (built in Node.js and MongoDB), an an accompanying web app, built using Angular 1.x. The hardware itself required a custom circuit designed by me. The Photon was required to read and write from an SD card and make a web socket connection with the API. Both of these required modifications of existing Arduino libraries before they were usable with the Particle Photon platform. The brace also required custom housing. The components for this were designed by myself and a colleague in Blendr before being 3D printed.

Four screens of the Angular web app. From left to right: Calibration screen; Exercise live view screen; Instant post-exercise report screen; View previous exercises screen.


Robolola Brace Firmware Progress from Head London on Vimeo.

This project was featured by the magazine Runner’s World and IDG Connect.

I alse wrote a ton of blogs for this project which are linked to below

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