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Article

Wearable Biofeedback System to Induce Desired Walking Speed in Overground Gait Training

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA
3
Department of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(14), 4002; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20144002
Received: 2 June 2020 / Revised: 9 July 2020 / Accepted: 16 July 2020 / Published: 18 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Sensors for Gait, Human Movement Analysis, and Health Monitoring)
Biofeedback systems have been extensively used in walking exercises for gait improvement. Past research has focused on modulating the wearer’s cadence, gait variability, or symmetry, but none of the previous works has addressed the problem of inducing a desired walking speed in the wearer. In this paper, we present a new, minimally obtrusive wearable biofeedback system (WBS) that uses closed-loop vibrotactile control to elicit desired changes in the wearer’s walking speed, based on the predicted user response to anticipatory and delayed feedback. The performance of the proposed control was compared to conventional open-loop rhythmic vibrotactile stimulation with N = 10 healthy individuals who were asked to complete a set of walking tasks along an oval path. The closed-loop vibrotactile control consistently demonstrated better performance than the open-loop control in inducing desired changes in the wearer’s walking speed, both with constant and with time-varying target walking speeds. Neither open-loop nor closed-loop stimuli affected natural gait significantly, when the target walking speed was set to the individual’s preferred walking speed. Given the importance of walking speed as a summary indicator of health and physical performance, the closed-loop vibrotactile control can pave the way for new technology-enhanced protocols for gait rehabilitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable biofeedback system; real-time gait parameter estimation; instrumented footwear; SportSole; closed-loop control wearable biofeedback system; real-time gait parameter estimation; instrumented footwear; SportSole; closed-loop control
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.; Yin, Y.; Chen, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Rao, A.K.; Guo, Y.; Zanotto, D. Wearable Biofeedback System to Induce Desired Walking Speed in Overground Gait Training. Sensors 2020, 20, 4002. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20144002

AMA Style

Zhang H, Yin Y, Chen Z, Zhang Y, Rao AK, Guo Y, Zanotto D. Wearable Biofeedback System to Induce Desired Walking Speed in Overground Gait Training. Sensors. 2020; 20(14):4002. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20144002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Huanghe; Yin, Yefei; Chen, Zhuo; Zhang, Yufeng; Rao, Ashwini K.; Guo, Yi; Zanotto, Damiano. 2020. "Wearable Biofeedback System to Induce Desired Walking Speed in Overground Gait Training" Sensors 20, no. 14: 4002. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20144002

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