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A reliable gyroscope-based gait-phase detection sensor embedded in a shoe insole

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6 Author(s)
Pappas, I.P.I. ; Autom. Control Lab., Swiss Fed. Inst. of Technol. Zurich, Switzerland ; Keller, T. ; Mangold, S. ; Popovic, M.R.
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This paper presents results of patient experiments using a new gait-phase detection sensor (GPDS) together with a programmable functional electrical stimulation (FES) system for subjects with a dropped-foot walking dysfunction. The GPDS (sensors and processing unit) is entirely embedded in a shoe insole and detects in real time four phases (events) during the gait cycle: stance, heel off, swing, and heel strike. The instrumented GPDS insole consists of a miniature gyroscope that measures the angular velocity of the foot and three force sensitive resistors that measure the force load on the shoe insole at the heel and the metatarsal bones. The extracted gait-phase signal is transmitted from the embedded microcontroller to the electrical stimulator and used in a finite state control scheme to time the electrical stimulation sequences. The electrical stimulations induce muscle contractions in the paralyzed muscles leading to a more physiological motion of the affected leg. The experimental results of the quantitative motion analysis during walking of the affected and nonaffected sides showed that the use of the combined insole and FES system led to a significant improvement in the gait-kinematics of the affected leg. This combined sensor and stimulation system has the potential to serve as a walking aid for rehabilitation training or permanent use in a wide range of gait disabilities after brain stroke, spinal-cord injury, or neurological diseases.

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2004

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