Integrated pressure-force-kinematics measuring system for the characterisation of plantar foot loading during locomotion

C. Giacomozzi, V. Macellari, A. Leardini, M. G. Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plantar pressure, ground reaction force and body-segment kinematics measurements are largely used in gait analysis to characterise normal and abnormal function of the human foot. The combination of all these data together provides a more exhaustive, detailed and accurate view of foot loading during activities than traditional measurement systems alone do. A prototype system is presented that integrates a pressure platform, a force platform and a 3D anatomical tracking system to acquire combined information about foot function and loading. A stereophotogrammetric system and an anatomically based protocol for foot segment kinematics is included in-a previously devised piezo-dynamometric system that combines pressure and force measurements. Experimental validation tests are carried out to check for both spatial and time synchronisation. Misalignment of the three systems is found to be within 6.0, 5.0 and 1.5 mm for the stereophotogrammetric system, force platform and pressure platform respectively. The combination of position and pressure data allows for a more accurate selection of plantar foot subareas on the footprint Measurements are also taken on five healthy volunteers during level walking to verify the feasibility of the overall experimental protocol. Four main subareas are defined and identified, and the relevant vertical and shear force data are computed. The integrated system is effective when there is a need for loading measurements in specific plantar foot subareas. This is attractive both in clinical assessment and in biomechanics research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Anatomical references
  • Foot loading
  • Footprint subareas
  • Kinematics
  • Pressure distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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