MANSFIELD, Conn. — Say you’re a ship captain and you want to know when one of your sailors is fatigued to the point he or she is at risk of getting injured.

Some University of Connecticut students have an idea.

The team of Devon Thompson, Julia Podsen, Yannis Halkiadakis, Prateek Rana and Kyle-Gabriel de Vera Tan, has developed a device, worn around the ankle, that detects normal and abnormal walking patterns. The goal is to develop an algorithm that can predict from someone’s walking patterns if they’re going to get injured and what the injury will be.

“The whole idea is, ‘Can we keep these people mission-ready? Can we keep them performing optimally on a boat?’ ” said Kristin Morgan, an assistant professor in UConn’s Biomedical Engineering Department.

The sponsor for the project is Electric Boat, which along with the Navy has made a big push to use wearable technology, given its low cost and ease of use, to monitor human performance.

A year and a half ago, UConn and the University of Rhode Island teamed up to create the Naval Science and Technology Program to get students interested in naval projects before they graduate, and to help create a pipeline of workers for the naval industries in the two states. More than 100 students have been involved in the program since it started.

Graduating engineering majors at both universities have to complete a senior project – that amounts to about 500 projects total between both universities. This year, 17 of the projects have naval relevance. The goal is to increase that number next year, and include some of the smaller suppliers of the naval industry in both states.

The wearable device project at UConn is just one example of what the students have been working on.

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