Researchers at ETH Zurich, Empa and EPFL are developing a 3D-printed insole with integrated sensors that allows the pressure of the sole to be measured in the shoe and thus during any activity. This helps athletes or patients to determine performance and therapy progress.
Running data soon to be read out wirelesslyTests showed the researchers that the additively manufactured insole works well. "So with data analysis, we can actually identify different activities based on which sensors responded and how strong that response was," Siqueira says.
In the future, 3D-printed insoles with integrated sensors could be used by athletes or in physiotherapy, for example to measure training or therapy progress. Based on such measurement data, training plans can then be adjusted and permanent shoe insoles with different hard and soft zones can be produced using 3D printing.
Researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and EPFL were involved in the development of the insole. EPFL researcher Danick Briand coordinated the project, and his group supplied the sensors, while the ETH and researchers developed the inks and the printing platform. Also involved in the project were the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and orthopaedics company Numo.