Rice University is profiling the work of its bioengineering undergrads that have been working on shoe inserts to help people with poor sensation in the feet to avoid accidental falls. People with diabetes, small vessel disease, post injury, and other conditions may have limited tactile sensation in their feet. Not being able to feel the ground as one is walking can lead to trips and falls.
The Rice team’s device converts pressure applied by the sole of the shoe into a vibration that should be more readily felt by the foot. This happens with every step and the vibration intensity is proportional to the pressure on the shoe.
Here is a short video with the Rice bioengineering students showing off their prototype: