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1. (WO1999013306) AN OPTICAL SENSOR FOR MEASURING FORCES APPLIED TO A BODY AND ITEMS OF CLOTHING INCORPORATING SUCH SENSORS

Pub. No.:    WO/1999/013306    International Application No.:    PCT/GB1998/002663
Publication Date: Mar 18, 1999 International Filing Date: Sep 4, 1998
IPC: A61B 5/11
G01B 11/16
G01D 5/353
G01L 1/24
Applicants: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH ENTERPRISE LTD.
STRICKLAND, Paul
Inventors: STRICKLAND, Paul
Title: AN OPTICAL SENSOR FOR MEASURING FORCES APPLIED TO A BODY AND ITEMS OF CLOTHING INCORPORATING SUCH SENSORS
Abstract:
A sensor (1) comprises a light emitting device (3) and a light receiving device (4) located at opposite ends of a passage (2). The passage is filled with a material (6) which may be a gas such as air, a liquid or solid, for example allowing light from the light emitting device to reach the light receiving device. Application of a force to the sensor affects the amount of light emitted by the light emitting device which can be received by the light receiving device. The walls of the passage and the material within the passage may be arranged to allow the passage to bend or deform in response to application of a force to the walls of the passage so that bending or deformation of the passage affects the amount of light received by the light receiving device from the light emitting device and thereby can be used to provide an indication of the deformation or bending of the passage. Such a sensor may be incorporated in an item of clothing such as, for example, a shoulder pad to monitor forces and/or bending stresses on the human body during the carrying out of a task. The present invention also provides a shoulder pad incorporating force responsive devices for enabling the forces exerted on the shoulder of a player during a rugby scrum to be monitored to facilitate correct training of players in scrummaging techniques.