A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
NASA iShoe Insole Could Prevent Falls On Earth
The iShoe insole has been developed by Erez Lieberman, an MIT graduate student working for NASA. It could help doctors detect balance problems before a fall.
(iShoe insole for NASA via MIT)
Lieberman, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, is now testing the device with a small group of patients. The current model is equipped to diagnose balance problems, but future versions could help correct such problems, by providing sensory stimulation to the feet when the wearer is off-kilter. "By doing that we can replace the sense and thus improve people's balance," Lieberman says.
The technology was originally developed so that NASA could monitor balance problems in astronauts after they had returned from space. Zero gravity environments are tough on the vestibular system, which is one of the three systems that help a person maintain their balance. The other two are vision and the sensory receptors that maintain your sense of proprioception, where your body parts are in relation to each other.
NASA astronauts are tested for 16 days following their return from space; problems with balance have typically affected astronauts for up to ten days.
"We've developed the first algorithm that is really capable of not just looking at the pressure distribution of proprioceptors on the feet but also analyzing what that's saying," he says.
After Lieberman's own grandmother suffered a bad fall several years ago, he theorized that a balance diagnostic tool could help doctors catch balance problems early.
The iShoe insole measures and analyzes the pressure distribution of the patient's foot; this data could be used to provide the patient's doctor with better information about balance and even to alert family members if a fall has occurred.
Science fiction fans have probably heard of the magnetic-soled shoes from Murray Leinster's Space Tug (1953) or the digital running shoes from Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net (1988). But feet can obviously provide more data.
Ideally, the iShoe insoles would be powered by foot motion; see the stillsuit desert boots for some of Frank Herbert's early thoughts about how it might be done.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/4/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Brainoware Reservoir Computation Of Biological Neural Networks
'Head cheese. Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'
Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches
'...a capsule which he placed against his wrist.' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.
'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.' - Alfred Bester, 1956.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'
Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'
More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'
First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'
Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'
Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'
Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'
ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'
AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'
Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'
TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'
DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'
Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'
BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?
Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories