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Portable Wireless Load Cells - An Application Note

Portable Wireless Load Cells - An Application Note
28/06/2021

Portable Wireless Load Cells - An Application Note

Interface Force Measurements Portable Wireless Load Cell Interface Force offers a range of different load cells of varying capacities and designs. One thing that is common in all of them is the requirement for cables. In certain applications, the use of cables is less than desirable this is what led our design engineers to investigate a universal solution for a portable wireless load cell.

The purpose of the portable load cell is to allow you to use the load cell in the field. It is powered by a battery and sends the data via Bluetooth to a smart device, meaning the readings can be taken without any external power or signal conditioning. The data is sent to an IOS or Android app which can be displayed using visual representation tiles which have several different styles. The app can receive multiple inputs from up to 24 load cells which can be processed in mathematical equations. The outputs of these equations are then displayed in a select choice of tiles. Below is an example of a set of tiles used to display the forces applied to a pair of load cells.

One application of this type of load cell would be in physiotherapy. If a patient is recovering from an injury, it may be helpful for the physiotherapist to have numerical readings for the force the patient can exert. For example, if they are recovering from a shoulder injury, they can push up on a bar with a wireless load cell on either end. Then the physiotherapist can create a tile that compares the force on either side of the bar and has an easily readable display that can help them give the best care to their patient. The wireless aspect is a huge advantage as the therapist may not want cables trailing around the patient or they may not have a suitable power supply nearby.

The design of the wireless electronics is such that the additional technology can be retrofitted to almost any type of load cell. The current prototypes use a 3D printed case that surrounds the load cell and houses the electronics. These electronics simply require the 4-cable output from a load cell in order to work, meaning any load cell can be retrofitted with a custom 3D printed case and connected to the same electronics to work.

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