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The design and implementation of a computer-controlled pneumatic device to replace the deadweight in standard exercise equipment
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The increasingly sedentary lifestyle of the past 30 years has contributed to declining health. Consequently, exercise is vital for good health maintenance. The global Health and Fitness Industry repeatedly indicates the need for optimally managed exercise with accurate information feedback. Compared to other industries, the fitness industry is lagging behind in incorporating Information Technology into its operations. On the other hand, the most current exercise equipment impose fixed-trajectory exercise on users with the dominance of static equipment designs. These exercise equipment are normally deadweight-based equipment. In deadweight-based exercise equipment, the weights generally can be changed only when the equipment is inactive. Therefore, a more novel exercise environment is required for current exercisers in the fitness industry. This thesis explores to develop a computer-controlled pneumatic dynamic resistance exercise equipment with onboard data management. This new technology optimises exercise effectiveness for users. Exercisers will have advanced diagnostic capacity, and will capture user data which can be manipulated into meaningful information for use by Health and Fitness Industry stakeholders. This thesis will explore all the key concepts about computer-controlled equipment. The key concepts to be investigated will include FX (force-displacement) control technology, pneumatic system control, fail-safe mechanics, and Graphical User Interface design. The primary aim of the project is to replicate and enhance the functionality, performance, and sensation of deadweight-based equipment. A further aim of the project is to investigate the feasibility of designing a compact retrofit-able pneumatic unit to replace the deadweights of existing standard exercise equipment. The computer control will be implemented on a "National Instruments PXI" computer featuring Data Acquisition and Control (DAQAC) capacity, and the software will be implemented using "LabVIEW 7.0', which is a graphic object-oriented computer language developed to facilitate hardware I software communications.