Closing the Wearable Gap-Part V: Development of a Pressure-Sensitive Sock Utilizing Soft Sensors
Luczak, T., Burch V, R. F., Smith, B. K., Carruth, D. W., Lamberth, J., Chander, H., Knight, A., Ball, J. E., & Prabhu, R. (2019). Closing the Wearable Gap-Part V: Development of a Pressure-Sensitive Sock Utilizing Soft Sensors. Sensors. MDPI. 20(1), 208. DOI:10.3390/s20010208.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of compressible soft robotic sensors (C-SRS) in determining plantar pressure to infer vertical and shear forces in wearable technology: A ground reaction pressure sock (GRPS). To assess pressure relationships between C-SRS, pressure cells on a BodiTrakTM Vector Plate, and KistlerTM Force Plates, thirteen volunteers performed three repetitions of three different movements: squats, shifting center-of-pressure right to left foot, and shifting toes to heels with C-SRS in both anterior–posterior (A/P) and medial–lateral (M/L) sensor orientations. Pearson correlation coefficient of C-SRS to BodiTrakTM Vector Plate resulted in an average R-value greater than 0.70 in 618/780 (79%) of sensor to cell comparisons. An average R-value greater than 0.90 was seen in C-SRS comparison to KistlerTM Force Plates during shifting right to left. An autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) was conducted to identify and estimate future C-SRS data. No significant differences were seen in sensor orientation. Sensors in the A/P orientation reported a mean R2 value of 0.952 and 0.945 in the M/L sensor orientation, reducing the effectiveness to infer shear forces. Given the high R values, the use of C-SRSs to infer normal pressures appears to make the development of the GRPS feasible.