Gait Event Detection Wearable Device Development and the Effect of Vibration Feedback on Ankle Kinematics and Kinetics

Nitzan Breitman, Tomer Yona, Arielle G. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of gait events is crucial for assessing walking patterns and deviations. Real-time gait event detection has the potential to facilitate the development of assistive tools, such as wearable devices that provide biofeedback to correct walking pattern deviations through vibration, visual, or auditory cues. This study consists of two phases. In the first phase, a novel gait detection wearable device was developed and validated for detecting heel-strikes in comparison to a force plate. Ten participants were enrolled in the validation phase, resulting in the collection of 218 heel-strike events. The second phase evaluated the effects of a gait-synchronized intermittent vibration wearable device on ankle kinematics and kinetics. Seventeen healthy participants were recruited, and measurements were collected using an optoelectronic motion capture system, a video camera, and two force plates. The device's detection of heel-strike events in real time showed excellent agreement with the force plates at all speeds ICC = 1 (CI = 0.994-1) with a maximum delay of 60 ms. Comparing within-participants differences while walking with and without the vibrating device, participants demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the ankle peak dorsiflexion moment with a small effect size ( p = 0.038 and d = 0.549). No other significant differences were found in ankle moment and angles. The device can detect gait events accurately and provide vibration feedback according to gait-specific phases. Further research is needed to assess the effects of vibration feedback on clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19052-19059
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Ankle
  • feedback
  • gait
  • haptic technology
  • vibration
  • wearable electronic devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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