SoleSound

SoleSound is an instrumented shoe with pressure sensors, inertial measurement unit, and vibro-tactile actuators. The data from the shoes are used to characterize spatial and temporal parameters of the gait of a user.

Overview

Solesound instrumented footwear system is a quantitative gait training and/or analysis system. It is a modular system which includes the footwear, sensory and tactile feedback  mounted on different areas of the foot and the leg. It connects wireless to a remote computer. The sensors on the shoe permit the extraction of gait kinematics in real-time and provide feedback to the foot. The collected data can be stored for later reduction and analysis.

Experimental Groups

The characterization of gait has traditionally been confined to gait laboratories with typically high operational costs. This limits clinicians and patients to specific settings when characterizing gait.

The instrumented system was validated against reference systems with healthy subjects. Multiple versions of the instrumented footwear were shown to perform well enough to potentially be used in out-of-lab gait analysis.

Gait impairments are common in Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA) and have been characterized by the slowing of the walking velocity over time. This has been typically measured using an instrumented walkway. Using ROARLab’s SoleSound instrumented footwear system and a reference instrumented walkway, gait and fatigue were characterized for SMA patients. The results showed excellent agreement between both methods. The SoleSound system characterized patients with SMA as walking predominantly on their forefoot.

For SMA patients, the SoleSound system can allow assessment under variable conditions. This could lead to better-informed understanding in informing ongoing treatment efforts and the nature of their gait under variable conditions.

Subjects with Parkinson's disease may have trouble with ambulation and may require external feedback to improve their gait. The version of the instrumented footwear with vibratory feedback was developed to provide vibratory feedback. This device can modulate both frequency and amplitude of feedback for the wearer and is fully mobile. Pressure and tactor status data are transmitted wirelessly and can be controlled by a remote computer.