The ultimate science fair was held earlier this month as the Siemens Foundation held its annual Math, Science & Technology competition. The competition’s goal is to find the best and brightest in high school scientists and award them scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Two seniors from Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee, Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain, won the top award in the team category for their combined use of Xbox 360’s Kinect with a camera and depth sensor to analyze the movement of someone’s gait.
Connecting the devices to a robotic leg and including computer vision algorithms made it possible for Liu and Cain to analyze human walking patterns, providing a way to understand those who have movement affecting injuries, like amputees or joint replacement patients. The students hope that this project could contribute to the design of prosthetics and develop an affordable gait analysis device, which would let doctors check a patient’s progress without an office visit.