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Optical And Weight Based Treadmill Cutoff Switch

Improve treadmill safety, especially around children
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

My treadmill has an optical pulse meter, why must it have an antiquated cutoff switch? An optical/infrared sensor can easily monitor if I'm still on it, or for that matter, if I've collapsed onto the front.

A weight sensor can also easily prevent operation if I fall off or if a kid is on and presses Start.

theircompetitor, Jan 18 2004


       I don't own a treadmill. I don't have kids. I don't actually know what sort of treadmill you are talking about.
I DO know that weight based and optical based microswitches are widely baked.
Failing that, employ a 'Dead Man's Handle'
What is the idea, exactly [comp]?
gnomethang, Jan 18 2004

       gnomethang -- of course they're baked -- that's why I'm surprised they're not in treadmills. The idea is the application of this widely available application to treadmills.   

       Typically, treadmills have a plastic "key" that has to be inserted for operation. Tie a string to the key, the other end of the string to your hand, and if you fall the treadmill stops.   

       I'm just suggesting these other technologies would improve the situation. For instance, nothing is stopping a kid from inserting the plastic key and turning it on. But a weight sensor would.   

       Optics could deal with bizarre situations where the key has not been cut off -- say because someone collapsed.
theircompetitor, Jan 18 2004

       Um, I just wanted a bit more info. Is this a running machine of some sort or a foot operated milling machine?. I'm asking seriously here!
OK! OK!, I've just clocked the category. You mean to design a safer running machine. Never liked the thingss anyway.
gnomethang, Jan 18 2004

       I thought this was an idea for a treadmill that continuously monitors your weight and appearance. It doesn’t shut off until you stop being fat.
AO, Jan 19 2004

       I thought most treadmills come with a 'deadman's switch' that turns the unit off when the rider falls. Unless a child has access to the key for the switch, the treadmill will not operate.
Klaatu, Jan 19 2004

       Klaatu -- correct, they do. I'm proposing a switch that would be substantially safer then the current system.
theircompetitor, Jan 19 2004

       Thanks [klaatu].
That's what I was suggesting with the 'Dead Man's Handle'.
The question is, how far do you go to protect your kids from something that they don't understand and can hurt them?.
More to the point, how far should we design adult items in order that kids may be completely safe around said item?. I mean that we can't necessarily design a car that won't crush them in the same way that we can't design a piece of gym equipment that they can't (necessarily) override.
Key or no key, I released the handbrake to a VW Camper van in a driveway when I was 4 years old. We (my twin and I) careered into the middle of a road but didn't get killed.
My parents blamed themselves and were right to do so. It was not the fault of the VW though.
gnomethang, Jan 19 2004

       gnomethang -- as a safety feature, it would help parents make sure that kids under a certain age can't operate it.   

       But it's not confined to kids. It could help you if you slipped and somehow didn't pull the switch out, for instance.   

       It seems the entire "Dead Man's Handle" technology, which is not only used in treadmills but in a variety of activities, such as jet skiing, for instance, can be replaced or augmented with newer technology.
theircompetitor, Jan 19 2004

       My mom had a treadmill that had a safety under the runner that if not pressed down then the machine would not work. So someone had to be standing on it to depress the button/switch/sensor thing under it. At the time my little sister was about 4 and her weight would activate it, but I can see where making that harder to activate would have been very helpful.
babyhawk, Jan 19 2004

       tx, babyhawk, that's what I getting at.
theircompetitor, Jan 19 2004

       I am only suggesting that you can sometimes go so far as to preclude any usefulness in a device by trying to design out any safety risks.
How does a 4 y.o. kid operate the handbrake on a VW Camper van?
(Question for designers of treadmills). How many people collapse on treadmills but still put their weight on a 'sensitive spot' that would maintain the operation of the device? (Not that the arse is a 'sensitive spot' btw!)
gnomethang, Jan 19 2004

       //At the time my little sister was 4 ...// - There may be a problem with this. Many people exercise on treadmills to loose weight. Imagine someone has finally lost enough weight so suddenly the treadmill turns off because the switch is not depressed. Whack, the poor wretch runs into the post and needs nose surgery or worse.
kbecker, Jan 19 2004

       [kbecker] I think my baby looked at me wierd for suddenly laughing that hard. You are great!
babyhawk, Jan 19 2004

       what about a Bubble shield with one side open door technology and an optical sensor to detect "Ok you collapsed or tripped and i'm stopping the treadmill imediately." and for the Anti-Kid detterent: a password? or button combination? a Left, right foot botton grab the back of the door, turn the key ? Simple will set you free, and cost a lot less in the process, and often leads to better profit margins.
LightDemonCodeHunter, Dec 31 2004


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