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Open AccessArticle

Pressure-Sensitive Insoles for Real-Time Gait-Related Applications

1
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, 20148 Milan, Italy
4
Department of Excellence in Robotics & AI, Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33–56127 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors share senior authorship.
Sensors 2020, 20(5), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051448
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 15 February 2020 / Accepted: 4 March 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Wearable robotic devices require sensors and algorithms that can recognize the user state in real-time, in order to provide synergistic action with the body. For devices intended for locomotion-related applications, shoe-embedded sensors are a common and convenient choice, potentially advantageous for performing gait assessment in real-world environments. In this work, we present the development of a pair of pressure-sensitive insoles based on optoelectronic sensors for the real-time estimation of temporal gait parameters. The new design makes use of a simplified sensor configuration that preserves the time accuracy of gait event detection relative to previous prototypes. The system has been assessed relatively to a commercial force plate recording the vertical component of the ground reaction force (vGRF) and the coordinate of the center of pressure along the so-called progression or antero-posterior plane (CoPAP) in ten healthy participants during ground-level walking at two speeds. The insoles showed overall median absolute errors (MAE) of 0.06 (0.02) s and 0.04 (0.02) s for heel-strike and toe-off recognition, respectively. Moreover, they enabled reasonably accurate estimations of the stance phase duration (2.02 (2.03) % error) and CoPAP profiles (Pearson correlation coefficient with force platform ρCoP = 0.96 (0.02)), whereas the correlation with vGRF measured by the force plate was lower than that obtained with the previous prototype (ρvGRF = 0.47 (0.20)). These results confirm the suitability of the insoles for online sensing purposes such as timely gait phase estimation and discrete event recognition. View Full-Text
Keywords: optoelectronic sensors; wearable sensors; sensorized insole; plantar pressure distribution; real-time gait monitoring; robot control optoelectronic sensors; wearable sensors; sensorized insole; plantar pressure distribution; real-time gait monitoring; robot control
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martini, E.; Fiumalbi, T.; Dell’Agnello, F.; Ivanić, Z.; Munih, M.; Vitiello, N.; Crea, S. Pressure-Sensitive Insoles for Real-Time Gait-Related Applications. Sensors 2020, 20, 1448. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051448

AMA Style

Martini E, Fiumalbi T, Dell’Agnello F, Ivanić Z, Munih M, Vitiello N, Crea S. Pressure-Sensitive Insoles for Real-Time Gait-Related Applications. Sensors. 2020; 20(5):1448. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051448

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martini, Elena; Fiumalbi, Tommaso; Dell’Agnello, Filippo; Ivanić, Zoran; Munih, Marko; Vitiello, Nicola; Crea, Simona. 2020. "Pressure-Sensitive Insoles for Real-Time Gait-Related Applications" Sensors 20, no. 5: 1448. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051448

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