MagnetGym: Resistance altering Gym Equipment with Biofeedback
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The Master thesis was original intended to be an attempt to make a direct competitive product to today s workout equipment using magnetic resistance. Since the resistance will be controlled digital, the option of making MagnetGym a closed circuit with inputs from the muscles was uttered. The thesis was then extended with biofeedback resistance control. With biofeedback, from EMGs sensors, the hypothesis was that the exact percentage of muscle activation, and therefore the percentage of force a person can generate, can be measured. This indulging the MagnetGym into today s ranks of smart products. The thesis focus will be on product development, dividing MagnetGym into sections and give proof of concept to each section. MagnetGym was divided into resistance, EMG and controls. Controls was divided into three subcategories; resistance regulator, resistance control, and resistance selection. Throughout the work period restrictions occurred, with limited budget and knowledge the end product ended up being not as in depth as hoped. Each section was evaluated to find the best solution, to solve the problems that ended in prototypes that were tested. The resistance will be generated by solenoids where the core will be moved. The resistance regulator will be done by PWM to control the amount of power traveling through the coil. The resistance control, which supervise that the resistance is correct, is a load cell between the user and the resistance. Resistance selection was in this thesis done by a LCD ad-on with buttons for the microcontroller Arduino, which will connect the MagnetGym together making it a closed circuit. The MagnetGym was connected to the body with EMG, also an ad-on for Arduino. The proof of concept went fine, however the final prototype would not work. Because of the budget and knowledge restrictions an optimal prototype with correct components and coils was not accomplished. The prototype was made with alternative components that would give proof of concept, no more. The MagnetGym is a mediocre idea that probably will not be competitive with traditional and already existing gym equipment according to this thesis. The coil will generate a lot of heat, which means cooling is needed. This will make the gym equipment more high maintenance than necessary resulting in a less cost efficient gym equipment. However the EMG idea can be the future of training, the tests and theory shows that the interpretation will be difficult task to overcome, but with further experiments there is hope.