This study was in collaboration with the University of Auckland's human-powered submarine team, Team Taniwha. The pilot, completely encapsulated in a hull, pedals to propel the submarine forward. Therefore this study focused on leg motion as that is the primary motion of the submarine pilot. Four carbon-filled silicone dielectric elastomer sensors were fabricated and coupled to the pilot's wetsuit. The first two sensors were attached over the knee joints, with the remaining two attached between the pelvis and thigh. The goal was to accurately measure leg joint angles thereby determining the position of each leg relative to the hip. A floating data acquisition unit monitored the sensors and transmitted data packets to a nearby computer for real-time processing. A GoPro Hero 4 silver edition was used to capture the experiments and provide a means of post-validation. The ability of the sensors to measure joint angles was assessed by examining GoPro footage in the image processing software, ImageJ.
This paper applies dielectric elastomer sensor technology to monitoring the leg motion of a diver. The experimental set-up and results are presented and discussed.