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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1742013 22.02.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001742013
Titel System zum Messen von Änderungen in der Länge oder der Form eines Objekts
Anmelder Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNO, Delft, NL
Erfinder Lommen, Antonius Hubertus Joannes Gerardus, 5971 NT Grubbenvorst, NL;
Visser, Hubregt Jannis, 5508 DC Veldhoven, NL;
Doodeman, Gerardus Johannes Nicolaas, 5501 DM Veldhoven, NL;
de Voogd-Claessen, Helena, 2314 ER Leiden, NL
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 06.07.2005
EP-Aktenzeichen 050765627
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 10.01.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 22.02.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse G01B 7/24(2006.01)A, F, I, 20061212, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse G01L 1/14(2006.01)A, L, I, 20061212, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]
Field

The invention concerns a system for remotely measuring length and/or shape variations of an object.

Background

In e.g. sports and health care it is of growing interest and importance to monitor the human condition and physiological performance during their activities. Monitoring means for collecting parameters representative for the human performance are e.g. heart rate sensors, temperature sensors and movement sensors for velocity and acceleration of the body or body parts. More and more, there is an interest to integrate these devices into the clothing (or even the human being itself).

Length and/or shape displacement and/or position sensors based on mechanical (wire strain gauges) or optical principles (laser) are in general not designed for application in textiles: components are large, heavy, not wireless or contactless and in general they lower the feeling of comfort of the clothing. Besides that, the components are not machine-washable.

Summary

The new system presented hereafter aims to facilitate remote measuring of length and/or shape variations of an object, e.g. a human body, and thus to monitor the condition and/or physiological performance of humans without causing discomfort or hindrance. To that end the new system uses a dipole resonator which is adapted to vary its length and/or shape in conformity with the length and/or shape variations of said object, the system, moreover, comprising detection means which are fit to remotely detect the dipole resonator's resonance frequency. Due to body movements, length and/or shape variations of the dipole resonator will give varying resonance frequencies which can be measured by the detecting means. By measuring the resonance frequencies the corresponding length and/or shapes variations of the dipole resonator can be computed, resulting in information about the body movements.

Preferably, the dipole resonator comprises a flexible, i.e. capable of being bent and/or flexed, dipole element: bending or flexing will change the effective length of the dipole and, in consequence, the resonance frequency. Preferably, the dipole element is elastic, i.e. capable of being stretched and/or expanded, by stretching and shrinking the real length of the dipole will change and thus the resonance frequency.

Pointing to the dipole's preferred embodiments, the dipole resonator preferably comprises flexible and/or elastic support means which support (electrically) conductive means. The dipole resonator preferably has the form of a filament, which can be incorporated in textile, e.g. garments which may be worn upon the relevant human body.

The dipole resonator may be a half wave dipole resonator. The detection means for remote detection of the dipole resonator's resonance frequency preferably comprises a spectrum analyzer.

Exemplary Embodiment

  • Figure 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of the new system.
  • Figure 2 shows schematically a stretchable dipole.

Figure 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of the new system for remotely measuring length and/or shape variations of an object, e.g. a person wearing a garment 1. The garment 1 comprises a "stretchable" dipole resonator 2 which is adapted to vary its length and/or shape in conformity with the length and/or shape variations of the person wearing the garment 1. The dipole resonator 2 may be attached to the garment 1 or integrated in it, e.g. being part of the garment's textile fibre.

The system, moreover, comprises detection means which are fit to remotely detect the dipole resonator's resonance frequency. The detection means comprise a conventional (straight wire) dipole antenna 3 in combination with a reflection analyzer 4, interconnected by a coax cable 5 and a "BALUN" (Balanced/Unbalanced) 6, i.e. a device that connects the asymmetric (coax) cable 5 to the symmetric antenna 3. The device is completed by a dipole reflector 7. The components 3, 6 and 7 are integrated in a handheld or standalone device which has to be held at a certain distance of the flexible resonator 2.

If the dipole resonator is a half wave dipole resonator its resonance frequency is f0 = C0 / &lgr;, in which C0 is the light velocity (3.108 m/s). Length and/or shape variations of the elastic and/or flexible half wave dipole resonator 2 due to body movements will result in variations in the resonator's resonance frequency. By monitoring the resonator's resonance frequency by the reflection analyzer 4 the corresponding (effective or real) length variations of the half wave dipole resonator 2 can be calculated and thus remote information of the person's body movements can be collected remotely.

The garment 1 may contain several resonators 2 and in order to distinguish the various resonators, each resonator may contain additional identification data based on integrated Surface Acoustic Waveguide or Integrated Circuit devices. Such devices may be integrated in or connected to the resonator(s) 2. The reflection analyzer 4 comprises or is connected to a data processor for processing (computing etc.) the retrieved data.

Figure 2 shows schematically a stretchable dipole comprising a flexible (capable of being bent and/or flexed) and/or elastic dipole element, capable of being stretched and/or expanded between the lengths L1 and L2 (when only capable of being bent and/or flexed, the effective length -i.e. the distance between the resonator's ends- may vary between L1 and L2.

About the construction, the dipole resonator may comprise flexible and/or elastic support core 8, supporting conductive wire (or string) 9, e.g. wound around the support core 8. To be able to be integrated in e.g. garments, the dipole resonator preferably has the form (and dimensions) of filament.

Thus, the dipole resonator 2 in the embodiments of figure 1 preferably consists of a flexible, elastic, stretchable, non-conductive, rubber-like core around which a conductive wire -made of copper, aluminum, metallized foil- is (tightly) wound and attached to the ends of the core. The windings make it possible to stretch (elongate) and release (shorten) the resonator. The diameter of the windings is relatively small in order to consider the wounded dipole as a straight dipole wire with a length of half of the wavelength (L = S&lgr;).

Instead winding a conductive wire or string around a non-conductive flexible and/or elastic core, the core itself may be made of a conductive rubber (e.g. comprising conductive particles).


Anspruch[en]
System for remotely measuring length and/or shape variations of an object (1), comprising a dipole resonator (2) which is adapted to vary its length and/or shape in conformity with the length and/or shape variations of said object, and detection means (3,4) which are adapted to remotely detect the dipole resonator's resonance frequency. System according to claim 1, the dipole resonator comprising a flexible, i.e. capable of being bent and/or flexed, dipole element. System according to claim 1, the dipole resonator comprising an elastic, i.e. capable of being stretched and/or expanded, dipole element. System according to claim 1, the dipole resonator comprising flexible and/or elastic support means (8), supporting conductive means (9). System according to claim 1, the dipole resonator having the form of a filament. System according to claim 5, said filament being incorporated in textile. System according to claim 5, said filament being incorporated in a garment. System according to claim 1, the dipole resonator being a half wave dipole resonator. System according to claim 1, said detection means for remote detection of the dipole resonator's resonance frequency comprising a reflection analyzer (4). A dipole resonator as described in any of the claims 1-9.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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