Electronic measurement system of foot plantar pressure
Article publication date: 4 August 2014
This paper aims to present a prototype of the diagnostic system for the examination of the distribution of the force applied by foot to substrate during usual human moving. Presented system is competitive to other currently available devices, thanks to sensors reliability, user-friendly operation manner and design based on cheap parts. The results of examinations are transmitted by radiomodem. Its recording and visualization are possible on either personal or mobile computers.
During selection of the sensors substrate, many polymeric electrets were examined. Polyvinylidene fluoride films were selected, because they have good charge uniformity across the surface, wide range of acceptable temperatures, linear relation between mechanical stress and output signal and high resistance for squeezing. The system measures the charge generated in film.
The pressures are recorded in relation to maximum value; therefore, measuring system does not require calibration. The simultaneous recording of data from all eight sensors allows tracking the signal without distortion.
An array of sensors is installed in the shoe insole. The measuring device is fixed to the outer surface of the shoe. Its weight is 75 g. The range of transmission is suitable for examination in the natural environment, outside traditional consulting room. Software is dedicated for analysis of the pressure distribution in every moment of the foot movement. The system is suitable for examination of flat feet, diabetic foot and recovery progress after injures.
The authors wish to thank Mr Andrzej Cichocki for competent making electrical measurements, as well as the personnel of the ITE Kraków Division Measurement Laboratory. The work has been done under the key project No. MNS-DIAG, WND-POIG 01.03.01-00-014/08.
Klimiec, E., Piekarski, J., Zaraska, W. and Jasiewicz, B. (2014), "Electronic measurement system of foot plantar pressure", Microelectronics International, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 229-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/MI-11-2013-0074
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