Sonostapp (graduation project)

Sonostapp (graduation project)

People with a prosthetic limb miss a sense of touch at this particular part of their body. The graduation project Sonostapp focused on providing people with a lower extremity amputation with an alternative sensory stimulus in order to help them experience what they can no longer feel.
To gain insight in what this feedback should be, methods of measuring around a prosthetic lower leg were investigated in an iterative research through design process. The results indicated that it is possible to measure differences in the applied pressure underneath a prosthetic leg with a thin insole between the shoe and the foot. To provide feedback on the pressure difference during walking, vibrotactile feedback as well as audio feedback was tested with one, experienced user. Audio feedback was considered as the most fitting option in the context of a tool for training, because a wider range of information and subtleties can be communicated through this medium in a short time, and it can be adapted to different stages of skill acquisition. Audio feedback on their weight distribution can help users to improve their balance while walking and in learning how to load both legs with a proper amount of weight. The application connected to the system also makes it possible to send the measured data to the experts at the rehabilitation centre, who can then provide the user with help or feedback from a distance. 

This project was developed in cooperation with the Fieldlab Aangepast Sporten (F.A.S.) and Livit. Next to that a person from the target group was highly involved in the project.

A paper about this project was published at Biomedica 2015.

This project was presented at the exhibition ‘Mind the step‘ (Dutch Design Week 2015), the Global Graduation Show (Dubai Design Week 2015) and at the fair ‘Liever thuis!’ 2015.