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Where’s my Foot?

FootFound: Arm Haptic Feedback from Foot Sole Contact

V1, 2022


Daniël Bakker
Benjamin Colety
Hugo Penichou
James Ziadeh
with assistance from Moustafa Mete

Arduino, Silicone, Servo Motor, Load Cell, Thermoplastic Polyurethane

People who have lost feeling in their foot and lower leg have a high risk of tripping and falling. We have developed an aide to give the user feedback from their foot on their forearm to reduce the impact of this handicap on their daily lives.

Existing solutions are expensive surgery or splints which lack sensory feedback. There are very limited intermediary options and none provide feedback to the user. Recent advancements in embedded microcontrollers and high power density servo motors allow the development of a compact system with natural feeling and sufficient resolution.

In our demonstration, you will be able to put on the splint, feedback sleeve, and control pack. Then, you will be able to walk a short distance, feeling the pressure you apply on your foot remapped to your arm. We encourage you to do some tests while standing still as well, putting pressure on the front or rear of your foot.

The demonstration shows the precision of the information transferred through our feedback mechanism. Load sensors placed on a splint measure the force applied to the  foot on the ground, and the information is transmitted to the arm through varying pressure applied by custom fabricated air pouches. 

This technology presents a proof of concept for a new type of medical aid in which local loss of sensation is bypassed and the information is mapped to another part of the body which maintains feeling. This could be applied to other parts of the body with sensory loss, input feedback for teleoperation robotics, and advanced sensory experiences in entertainment contexts, such as 4DX Movies.

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