Let's Make Robots!

"Pedometer" for roller skates?

So as I mentioned a few months ago, I'm currently training to join a local roller derby team. I am, for lack of a better word, quite out of shape. I can only afford to go skating once a week, and want to make sure I am getting the most of my sessions.

I've seen pedometers for runners, and even small GPS units for skaters going outside, but what if you're inside?

I'm a quad skate snob, and will use my indoor skates for INDOOR ONLY. However, I really want a way to track how far I've gone during my sessions. Even the knowledge that I'm going a wee bit farther every time would be exciting. I get disheartened easily and want something to keep me going.

I'll first post pictures of my skates to get creative juices flowing, then spout off my own ideas:

skates1.jpgskates2.jpgskates3.jpgskates4.jpg

 

OK. So I'm thinking one idea would be to paint on the inside of one wheel and use an encoder, but I'm not sure how high I need the proc to count.

The top two pictures show where ideal proc placement would be between the shoe and plate. I want it in a place that is easy to get boots on, and won't hurt me if I fall, because I WILL fall.

Waterproofing isn't a big deal, but if it works out well, I'd like to eventually make a waterproof version for when I can afford a second pair for outdoor use.

 

Any thoughts guys?

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through your tights
I thought about that, but wouldn't it be uncomfortable? I don't know, I don't rollerskate.

I think that would make it a little akward.

 

"'scuse me while I stick my hand down my pants to run a wire." :P

no kidding: wearables are all the rage, even in the diy scene.

but my vote is for the awkward wire

I`d go with a simple reflective IR encoder pointing at the inside of the wheel, with a strip of white tape to trigger it. Counting the triggers.. Unless you want distance down to the nearest cm or something, find the circumference of your wheel and convert revolutions to meters before storing it. That would save a lot of space. Oh why not put a microswitch with a soft feeler underneath to detect when your foot is off the ground?

Why not try an IMU from Sparkfun? Think there would be way too many errors to correct fpr with encoded skate wheels that sometimes are, sometimes aren't on the ground in a particular orientation.