Case Study: Bowflex SelectTech 560
Helping Nautilus make the number one selling selectable-weight dumbbell set even better.
In the Bowflex SelectTech 560 accelerometers, rate gyros, and Bluetooth technology combine to provide the user with a smart weight training experience. The SelectTech 560 syncs with a mobile app to monitor repetitions and to provide users with instant feedback on weight training technique.
What We Did
Nautilus asked Simplexity to assist with sensor architecture, signal processing, and firmware development. Our engineers worked closely with Nautilus to develop an embedded instrumentation PCA based upon low cost mems technology. By applying our knowledge of digital signal processing we were able to overcome sensor artifacts such as bias, drift, and noise that can complicate measurements and make it difficult to accurately determine range of motion in this type of device.
Simplexity worked with Nautilus to understand the fundamental motions associated with weight training. Breaking the problem down into basic motions, and analyzing with MATLAB®, Simplexity recognized that in addition to existing accelerometers, rate gyros would be needed to provide accurate motion monitoring.
Once we settled on a sensor architecture, we ran simulations to develop the digital filters needed for reliable measurements. These filters were implemented in firmware and then tested and refined using prototype hardware. The combination of analysis, firmware development and refinement testing were critical to getting this low cost measurement system working.
“Bowflex, the company best known for its all-in-one home-exercise machines, is showing off a pair of "smart dumbbells," which log your weight lifting sessions, and also use sensors to detect if you're moving your arms too fast… The SmartTech 560 dumbbells, as they're called, then send that data to an Android or iOS app over Bluetooth.”
- Fundamental assessment of sensor requirements.
- Data analysis, algorithm development and simulation using MATLAB®.
- Firmware development and testing.
- Integration with mobile app provide by our development partner Veux Labs.
The End Product
Our team was delighted to apply our knowledge of low cost sensors and digital signal processing to help Nautilus create an innovative new exercise product.
“With the complexity of working with accelerometers and magnetometers and gyros, we realized that we were in way over our heads. We were looking for partners that had this experience and they’re very hard to come by. Seeing that Simplexity had done similar successful projects gave us the confidence that we needed to enlist them into our project. And we feel really fortunate that we found one that was very easy to work with and very nimble. Simplexity was there with us as partners to help us get to the end.”
-Tom Moran, Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, Nautilus