Where’s my Foot?
Arm Haptic Feedback from Foot Sole Contact
Daniël Bakker, Benjamin Colety, Hugo Penichou, James Ziadeh with assistance from Moustafa Mete
People who suffer from drop foot have a high risk of tripping and falling due to the loss of sensation in their foot and lower part of their leg. We present an aide to provide the user with sensory feedback from their foot projected onto another part of their body to reduce the impact of this handicap on their daily lives.
Existing solutions are expensive surgery or splints which lack sensory feedback. Intermediary options are non-existent. 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 the demonstration, you will be able to wear the feedback sleeve connected to the smart splint worn by the presenter, who will then walk a short distance. In addition, the presenter will hide their leg behind the table and move their weight forwards and backwards, while you will be able to feel the presenter’s motion through the worn device.
The demonstration shows the precision of the information transferred through our feedback mechanism. Load sensors placed on a splint measure the position of the foot on the ground, and the information is transmitted on the arm through varying pressure applied by inflatable synthetic balloons.
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.
Arduino, Silicone, Servo motor, strain gauge, plastic (unsure of type, for feedback balloons)