An easy-to-build and inexpensive device was developed to assess walking speed. The device measured to a best resolution of 0.001 second the time interval between the triggering of two dual beam photoelectric intrusion-detection systems positioned 12.0 m apart. A preliminary study on a population of three normal subjects demonstrated that the variance in the time to walk between the detectors was greater than the resolution of the measurement system, thus the resolution of the device was adequate for walking applications. Potentially, this device could be used to assess postoperative patient progress and functional outcome.
S. B. MITCHELL, MSE, is a PhD student in the Bioengineering Department at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
J. E. SANDERS, PhD, is a professor in the Bioengineering Department at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Professor J. E. Sanders, Bioengineering, Box 357962, Harris 309, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. Phone: (206) 221-5872; Fax: (206) 221-5874; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2001 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists