Force Treadmill System Software – Documentation and User Guide
Innervations has developed the Force Treadmill Software for the latest athlete powered treadmill from Woodway. The combination of state of the art non-motorized treadmill with powerful Windows software provides a testing and training system with stunning capabilities. The system is fully programmable and programs can be saved and recalled at will. This permits development of very specific continuous and interval training protocols which mimic the target sport. The Pacer function allows athletes and coaches to save a particular run and then call it up later to act as a pacer. This means the athlete can “race” themselves, or at least their performance from say 6 months previously. Alternatively the athlete can race other athlete performances.
A tachometer mounted on the treadmill drum continuously records distance traveled. From this continuous velocity time data is calculated. A horizontally mounted force transducer permits measurement of propulsive force. Combining distance, velocity and force data actual horizontal work done and power output are calculated. Vertically mounted force transducers record the vertical force applied to the treadmill bed.
The range of views for operation of the system are selected from the tabs at the top of the screen. These include:
- Dashboard – starting and stopping trials; views of time, distance, speed, force, work and power; see the performance in real time.
- Program Designer – design programs which set braking levels and give auditory and visual instructions to the athlete.
- Graphs – graphing of distance, velocity, force, and power.
- Report – summary report of the last performance including average and peak values.
- Options – adjust the various settings for system operation including calibration and units of measurement.
|The dashboard is the main control panel for the system. Here the measurements are displayed in real time during a trial. The progress of the program if running is displayed, and the Pacer function can be used.To start a trial click the Start button. Click again to stop the trial or use Trial End Points to set criteria for completion of a trial.Trials can be saved by clicking the Save Trial button.Trials can be loaded by clicking the Open Trial button.|
|This panel displays the progress of the program if one is running. The current stage, time to the end of the current stage and the current instruction is displayed.Target speed is also displayed.Brake can be adjusted manually. Braking level is in kilograms or pounds (lbs) depending on the setting of units for force.Click the button to start or stop the current program.|
Trial End Points
|This panel is where you can set criteria to end the trial. Options include time, distance, speed attained or work done. To set an endpoint, check the box and then enter the target in the appropriate text box. Endpoints can be set on as many of the options as required with the trial stopping with the first event that occurs.Units for each setting are as set in the options.|
|This panel displays the progress of the current trial to the pacer file that has been loaded. Pacer distance is the current position of the pacer relative to the start of the trial.Relative position is the distance between the person currently on the treadmill and the position of the pacer at the same point in time. A negative value and red background indicates that the athlete trails the pacer. A positive value and green background indicates that the athlete is leading the pacer.To load a pacer file, click the button “Load Pacer File”. When you click the Start button the pacer will start at the same time.To create pacer files, simply same any trial file that you wish to use as a pacer in the future.|
Programs can be designed with a series of stages. Each stage can specify the starting time for that stage, the target speed, the braking load to be applied, the instruction to be displayed on the dashboard, and the sound file to be played to give audio instruction.
Stage can be any combination of letters and numbers. It could be a simple series of numbers e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc. or combination of numbers and letters, e.g. 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, etc. It might be appropriate to use words such as warmup, jog1, sprint1, walk1, jog2, sprint2, walk2 etc..
Start time is the time in seconds from the start of the trial that the stage is to begin. These must be sequential and the time between consecutive stage times is the duration of the stage.
Speed is the target speed that the athlete should attempt to match. Speed is entered as a number and the units depend on what is selected on the Options for speed units.
Load is the amount of braking that will be applied. Possible settings range from 0 to maximum braking force.
Instruction specifies the written instruction to be flashed to the athlete at the start of the stage. This message will be displayed for 4 seconds. Any text can be entered into this field. Examples are: walk, run, jog, stop etc..
Sound file specifies the sound to be played at the start of the stage. Several sound files are provided with the program and include: walk.wav, jog.wav, run.wav, finished.wav. The filename must match a .wav file which is in the SoundFiles folder. You can record your own sounds using the Windows Sound program. Just ensure that the files are all kept in the SoundFiles folder so that the system can finds them.
To edit the program just click on a cell and begin typing. Columns, rows or groups of cells can be copied (Ctrl-C) and pasted (Ctrl-V).
Load Program – Click the load button to open a program file.
Commit Changes – Click the commit button to apply any changes made to the currently loaded program.
Save Program – Click the save button to keep your changes or save the program to a new filename.
|Variables that can be graphed include distance, velocity (speed), power, horizontal force and vertical force. To display a variable check the box. The color of the line is the same as the color of the variable label. Units of measurement are given on the left or right axis depending which variables are being graphed. Any section of the graph can be zoomed by holding down the left mouse button and dragging down and to the right over the section of interest. To remove the zoom, hold down the left mouse button and drag up and to the left.To scroll around a zoomed section of the graph, hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse in the desired direction.|
|The report is a summary of the last recorded trial. The date and time of the test is displayed along with the total distance, average velocity, power and horizontal force. Peak velocity, power and force are also calculated including the time at which they occurred.Text in the report can be selected and then copied (Ctrl-C) and then pasted (Ctrl-V) into other documents.|
|The data collection panel is used to adjust setting which effect the way measurements are made.Sample rate is the number of samples that are collected each second. The setting can be from 1 to 200 Hz. The choice of sample rate depends on how long the test duration is and how quickly changes must be measured. For longer trials a sample rate of 10 or less might be selected. If you wish to get accurate measures for say a 10 meter sprint then 100 or even 200 Hz would be a good choice.Filter cutoff refers to setting of the digital filter that is applied to the distance-time data before speed-time data is calculated. The filter cutoff must be less than half the sample rate. Selection depends on the sample rate and how much smoothing is required. If the graph of speed appears “noisy” or jagged then select a lower filter cutoff. Settings from 0 (no filter applied) to 20 Hz are available. Zero horizontal force accounts for any zero offset on the horizontal force transducer. If you take some measurements with no force applied to the horizontal transducer and the force is not zero, clicking this button should correct for this in subsequent measurements.The actual zero offset will be displayed in the text box.Zero vertical force accounts for any zero offset on the vertical force transducers. If you take some measurements with no force applied to the treadmill deck and the force is not zero, clicking this button should correct for this in subsequent measurements.
The actual zero offset will be displayed in the text box.
|The settings panel is used to select different units of measurement.Distance can be measured in meters, feet, yards, kilometers or miles.Speed can be measured in meters/second, feet/second, yards/seconds, miles per hour, or kilometers per hour.Work can be measured in joules or foot.pounds.Force can be measured in Newtons or pounds.Power can be measured in Watts or Horsepower.|
Calibration is a relatively simple process which allows the information from the force transducers to be scaled to an appropriate units such as Newtons or pounds of force. The distance measurement does not require calibration because it is measured from a toothed wheel which generates pulses when the treadmill drum turns. The distance moved for each pulse is known and does not change and so the conversion factor from pulses to distance in meters, feet etc. is coded directly into the system.
Calibration of the force requires the application of known forces to the transducers which measure the force. Two different input forces are required so that a line can be fitted, the slope of which is the calibration factor and the y-intercept is the zero offset. Force can be calibrated in either Newtons or pounds depending on your preference and setting of the units for force.
To calculate the force applied in Newtons multiply the mass of the calibration object by 9.81 (acceleration due to gravity ‘g’). For example, if you are using a person’s body weight and you weigh them on a scale and the weight is 110 kg, multiply by 9.81 and the actual force is 1079.1 Newtons.
Selection of known forces to use should be determined by the expected range of forces to be measured from the athlete. The first force should be at the lower end of the range and the second force should be toward the top of the expected forces to be measured.
Calibration options are accessed by clicking the Options tab.
Calibrating Horizontal Force
The horizontal force is calibrated by hanging weights from the transducer.
The first force should be around 10kg so the actual force is 98.1 Newton.
Enter the force applied into the textbox next to the button labeled “h force 1”
Ensure that the force entered is applied to the transducer and click the button labeled “h force 1”
When the analog to digital (AD) reading stabilizes you can progress to the next stage.
Apply the second force to the transducer. We suggest a mass of around 30kg which equates to 294.3 Newton. Enter the actual force applied into the textbox next to the button labeled “h force 2”
Ensure that the force entered is applied to the transducer and click the button labeled “h force 2”
The new horizontal force calibration factor will be displayed.
Calibrating Vertical Force
The vertical force is calibrated by placing weights on the deck of the treadmill. The easiest way to do this is to use people’s body weight. We suggest accurately weighing four people.
The first force should be around one bodyweight.
Enter the force applied into the textbox next to the button labeled “v force 1”. For example if the person weights 60kg then enter 588.6 Newton as the actual v force 1.
Ensure that the force entered is applied to the treadmill deck and click the button labelled “v force 1”
When the AD reading stabilizes you can progress to the next stage.
Apply the second force to the treadmill deck. Enter the actual force applied into the textbox next to the button labeled “v force 2”
In the example we are going to the body weight of four people. If for example your people weigh 60kg, 80kg, 75kg, and 88kg then the total is 303kg which multiplied by 9.81 equates to 2972.43 Newton. It is important to weight the body weights as accurately as possible using and electronic scale.
Ensure that the force entered is applied to the treadmill deck and click the button labeled “v force 2”
The new vertical force calibration factor will be displayed.
In normal use the calibration factors for both vertical and horizontal forces should be quite stable. As such calibration may only be required every few months. If the data is force scientific use and accuracy needs to be constantly verified then calibration immediately prior to the test sessions is recommended.