UNeTech partner Impower Health patents hands-free treadmill
January 13, 2022

UNeTech startup business Impower Health Inc. announced it has received a U.S. patent covering user-paced treadmills and the involved technology.

The treadmill operates so users can adjust the speed of the belt without pressing any buttons. Instead, users simply speed up or slow down on the treadmill, and the belt speed adjusts accordingly. The result is an intuitive interface as seen below:

The system can be used for running, walking, or rehabilitation. By combining sensors to measure the leg swing of the runner and their position on the belt, the invention uses advanced biomechanical algorithms to continuously adjust the treadmill’s speed. The system was invented by William Denton, Molly Schieber, MD, PHD, and Casey Wiens. The patent — U.S. Patent No. 11,185,740 — covers technology within the treadmill that includes a control apparatus for exercise equipment, which is comprised of:

  • A sensor system to generate data representative of the user’s body velocity and leg swing velocity when the exercise equipment is in use.
  • Velocity generation circuitry to generate additional data for the exercise equipment based in part on the body velocity and leg swing velocity.
  • Velocity adjustment circuitry to cause the exercise equipment to operate at the new equipment velocity.

A prototype of the Impower Health hands-free treadmill

Impower Health Inc. CEO Doug Miller said: “This is affirmation by the patent office that we have a unique approach to providing a new and safer treadmill experience — the first user-paced experience for motorized treadmills and an experience that can translate to other cardio machines. Impower Health Inc. is excited by the prospect of bringing this technology to market.”

Miller and the staff at UNeTech are grateful to their colleagues at UNeMed for their help obtaining this patent.

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