Design and Evaluation of a Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Foot/Pedal Interface for Cycling

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Dennis Wootten
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Maury L. Hull
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Described is the design of a foot/pedal interface intended as a research tool in the study of overuse knee injuries in cycling. The interface enables the systematic variation of factors that may affect loads transmitted by the knee joint. It permits two degrees of freedom of movement, inversion/eversion and abduction/adduction rotations, either separately or in combination. The movement permitted by each degree of freedom can be either free or resisted by spring assemblies. Sample data were collected to demonstrate the function of the foot/pedal interface. With no spring resistance, the interface functioned as intended by allowing free movement of the foot. Significant interaction was seen between the two degrees of freedom, with more motion and a larger absolute mean occurring when both degrees of freedom were allowed simultaneously. This emphasizes the need for a multi-degree-of-freedom interface when undertaking a comprehensive study of the factors affecting loads transmitted by the knee.

The authors are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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