Arduino Pedometer Counts Your Steps

There’s a trend in corporate America that has employees wear a step counter — technically a pedometer — and compete in teams to see who can get the most number of steps. We wonder how many people attach the device to an electric drill and win the competition easily. However if you want to do your own measurements, [Ashish Choudhary] has plans for making a pedometer with an Arduino. The device isn’t tiny, but as you can see in the video below it seems to work.

For the extra size, you do get some features. For one, there is a 16×2 LCD display and an ADXL335 accelerometer, and you can probably imagine some other cool features for such a device.

The Arduino computes the magnitude of the acceleration, and if it exceeds a certain threshold it adds a step to the step count. Honestly, this is a fun project but it cries out for a more compact form factor. An ESP8266 for example could ditch the display and connect via WiFi to your phone. Then again, your phone can probably do the same job, as could not to mention many smartwatches. But those don’t have nearly as much geek cred as this project.

This is a little large for a hamster. On the other hand, there’s plenty you can do with the accelerometer after you’ve had enough fun counting steps.

8 thoughts on “Arduino Pedometer Counts Your Steps

  1. Those invasive peer-pressure-heavy employee health initiatives (like the pedometer competitions, bike to work initiatives, etc. (I’ve even seen ones where they encourage employees to track their diet and exercise to win token awards)).

    In general companies that do these things make them optional but I have found there is a fair bit of pressure exerted and usually the companies with these programs are self-insured for their health plans (they pay an insurance company to administer the health plab to avoid the liability/temptation of seeing confidential health information about their employees, but they are on the hook to reimburse the insurance company for any claims so the real motivation is to reduce the frequency and cost of medical claims).

    The more responsible ones may pass the resulting savings on to employees by reducing the payroll deduction for healt insurance, but many just quietly pass it on to shareholders instead.

    Don’t get me wrong, I walk at least 5 miles a day (mostly ro get away from the toxic hell of an open plan office), I just feel that it is overstepping a boundary for employers to badger their employees for such personal data, especially when they are less than forthcoming about their financial stake in doing so.

  2. Sounds like a job for TinyML, have pressure sensors in shoes and record that data along with the accelerometer data then train a model on the full dataset to be accurate in how it interprets just the accelerometer data in day to day use. You’d want the accelerometer in the “normal” position that you’d use it and not help out in front of you like that though.

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