The modern lifestyle is evolving into screen-based environment, where most input devices operated by hands of sitting users and prolonged sitting contributes to sedentary lifestyle. Cycling machines remain the only devices enabling leg muscle activity in sitting users, also providing data input capability, e.g. utilized in virtual road racing games.
Although, walking is natural human activity, where fast walking and running are the most popular exercise training. As we walk, our feet interact with the ground to control locomotion such as acceleration, speed and direction. Full extension at the knee joint against the gravity forces engages large muscle groups in the leg, providing exercise workloads.
The MedExercise hardware is the first device to enable simulation of walking, while sitting. Such unique property is due to linear moving pedals, which motion is independent of each other. Full extension of the legs in the knee joints and the ‘M’-shaped reaction force profile between the user’s feet and pedals are similar to that in overground walking.
The MedExercise pedals are equipped with wireless sensors digitizing characteristics of simulated walking and touching ground by feet, making the hardware the first haptic input device for feet. In this capacity it can be used to interact with various software and apps through natural leg muscle activity, also transforming sedentary sitting into exercise opportunity.
Applied with conventional hand input devices, the hardware allows legs to enhance control of software and apps, ranging from digital games and sports to tele-robotics and rehabilitation. The video below demonstrates association of pedal movements with the pace of virtual jogging.