Plantar force is the interface pressure existing between the foot plantar surface and the shoe sole during static or dynamic gait. Plantar force derived from gait and posture plays a critical role for rehabilitation, footwear design, clinical diagnostics and sports activities, and so on. This paper aims to review plantar force measurement technologies based on piezoelectric materials, which can make the reader understand preliminary works systematically and provide convenience for researchers to further study.
The review introduces working principle of piezoelectric sensor, structures and hardware design of plantar force measurement systems based on piezoelectric materials. The structures of sensors in plantar force measurement systems can be divided into four kinds, including monolayered sensor, multilayered sensor, tri-axial sensor and other sensor. The previous studies about plantar force measurement system based on piezoelectric technology are reviewed in detail, and their characteristics and performances are compared.
A good deal of measurement technologies have been studied by researchers to detect and analyze the plantar force. Among these measurement technologies, taking advantage of easy fabrication and high sensitivity, piezoelectric sensor is an ideal candidate sensing element. However, the number and arrangement of the sensors will influence the characteristics and performances of plantar force measurement systems. Therefore, it is necessary to further study plantar force measurement system for better performances.
So far, many plantar force measurement systems have been proposed, and several reviews already introduced plantar force measurement systems in the aspect of types of pressure sensors, experimental setups for foot pressure measurement analysis and the technologies used in plantar shear stress measurements. However, this paper reviews plantar force measurement systems based on piezoelectric materials. The structures of piezoelectric sensors in the measurement systems are discussed. Hardware design applied to measurement system is summarized. Moreover, the main point of further study is presented in this paper.