Saturday, June 22, 2024

Smart Body Fat Scale Reference Design

The scale measures body fat, BMI, and more, using sensors and smartphone connectivity for health management.

smart body fat scale

In contemporary society, individuals are closely monitoring their health metrics, including body weight, body fat percentage, and overall body composition. This heightened health consciousness has spurred the popularity of body fat scales. Renesas’ Smart Body Fat Scale solution stands out in this space, offering a user-friendly means to track health data such as body fat. The scale is adept at measuring body impedance and is equipped with four weighing sensors and four metal electrodes. When users stand on these electrodes, their body impedance is gauged through an impedance detection circuit. This data, combined with personal details like height, gender, age, and weight, allows for precise calculation of body fat and other vital health parameters. These measurements are displayed on an LCD monitor for immediate viewing and can be accessed and monitored through a smartphone application, enabling seamless health management.

Renesas has launched a smart body fat Scale reference design to simplify the design process. This design incorporates the RL78/L1A Microcontroller Unit (MCU), which is equipped with extensive analogue peripherals and a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), along with the RL78/G1D MCU’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication functionality. This combination makes it suited for healthcare bio-sensing applications. The company says that the solution is a non-medical device.

The demonstration board for this system includes the RL78/L1A (a microcontroller unit) and the RL78/G1D module. The RL78/L1A microcontroller is equipped with a Flash Read-Only Memory (ROM) size of 96 Kilobytes (KB) and a Random Access Memory (RAM) size of 5.5KB. This setup is designed to work with a smartphone application, enabling communication with the Smart Body Fat Scale via its integrated Bluetooth module. The scale features four weighing sensors for accurate weight measurement and four metal electrodes for body impedance measurement, employing the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technique. It can display a range of health metrics, such as body weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and body impedance. Power for the system is provided by four AAA batteries, ensuring both portability and ease of use.

To showcase the application’s functionality, it’s necessary to program both the BLE protocol stack and the application software into the RL78/G1D module and RL78/L1A microcontroller, respectively. Following this, by installing a compatible app on an Android smartphone, communication can be established between the smartphone app and the smart body fat scales via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) function. The app is designed to receive scales’ weight and body impedance data. It then integrates this data with user-entered information such as height, gender, and age to calculate and display the body fat percentage.

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Renesas have tested this reference design. It comes with a Bill of Materials (BOM), schematics, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal is a journalist at EFY. She is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with over five years of academic experience. Her expertise lies in working with development boards and IoT cloud. She enjoys writing as it enables her to share her knowledge and insights related to electronics, with like-minded techies.

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