Estimating the complete ground reaction forces with pressure insoles in walking

This study presented a method to estimate the complete ground reaction forces from pressure insoles in walking. Five male subjects performed 10 walking trials in a laboratory. The complete ground reaction forces were collected during a right foot stride by a force plate at 1000 Hz. Simultaneous plantar pressure data were collected at 100 Hz by a pressure insole system with 99 sensors covering the whole plantar area. Stepwise linear regressions were performed to individually reconstruct the complete ground reaction forces in three directions from the 99 individual pressure data until redundancy among the predictors occurred. An additional linear regression was performed to reconstruct the vertical ground reaction force by the sum of the value of the 99 pressure sensors. Five other subjects performed the same walking test for validation. Estimated ground reaction forces in three directions were calculated with the developed regression models, and were compared with the real data recorded from force plate. Accuracy was represented by the correlation coefficient and the root mean square error. Results showed very good correlation in anterior-posterior (0.928) and vertical (0.989) directions, and reasonable correlation in medial-lateral direction (0.719). The root mean square error was about 12%, 5% and 28% of the peak recorded value. Future studies should aim to generalize the methods or to establish specific methods to other subjects, patients, motions, footwear and floor conditions. The method gives an extra option to study an estimation of the complete ground reaction forces in any environment without the constraints from the number and location of force plates.