[WORLDKINGS - Ideastime] Daily Highlights 16 March 2023 – 3D-printed "smart" insoles designed for on-the-go pressure mapping


(Wcsa.world) Whether you're an athlete or someone experiencing foot pain, it's important to eliminate high-pressure areas in the soles of your shoes. An experimental insole could help, by showing where such areas are located during a variety of activities.

Currently, in order to produce a "pressure map" of the soles of a person's feet, a specialist will have them walk barefoot across a pressure-sensitive floor mat in a foot clinic. Custom insoles will then be made for the patient, shaped to relieve pressure in the areas of their feet where it occurs most.

While this system works OK, slowly walking across a short stretch of mat doesn't necessarily reflect what someone does with their feet throughout a typical day. And for athletes, it definitely doesn't provide a full picture of the foot pressure they experience as they're running and jumping.

Seeking a better alternative, scientists from Switzerland's ETH Zurich, Empa and EPFL research institutes developed the new insoles. Worn inside an existing pair of shoes, the devices contain multiple piezoelectric sensors, located in areas where pressure typically occurs.

This relatively simple and inexpensive production process is one of the technology's main selling points, as it would allow the insoles to be sold at a much lower price than existing products. And in tests performed so far, the new insoles have performed very well.

According to newatlas.com

Yun Ruan (Editor) - World Creativity Science Academy - WCSA