Shoe-integrated, force sensor design for continuous body weight monitoring

Shahzad Muzaffar, Ibrahim M. Elfadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Traditional pedobarography methods use direct force sensor placement in the shoe insole to record pressure patterns. One problem with such methods is that they tap only a few points on the flat sole under the foot and, therefore, do not account for the total ground reaction force. As a result, body weight tends to be under-estimated. This disadvantage has made it more difficult for pedobarography to be used to monitor many diseases, especially when their symptoms include body weight changes. In this paper, the problem of pedobarographic body weight measurement is addressed using a novel ergonomic shoe-integrated sensor array architecture based on concentrating the applied force via three-layered structures that we call Sandwiched Sensor Force Consolidators (SSFC). A shoe prototype is designed with the proposed sensors and shown to accurately measure body weight with an achievable relative accuracy greater than 99%, even in the presence of motion. The achieved relative accuracy is at least 4X better than the existing state of the art. The SSFC shoe prototype is built using readily available soccer shoes and piezoresistive FlexiForce sensors. To improve the wearability and comfort of the instrumented shoe, a semi-computational sensor design methodology is developed based on an equivalent-area concept that can accurately account for SSFC’s with arbitrary shapes. The search space of the optimal SSFC design is shown to be combinatorial, and a high-performance computing (HPC) framework based on OpenMP parallel programming is proposed to accelerate the design optimization process. An optimal sensor design speedup of up to 22X is shown to be achievable using the HPC implementation.

Original languageBritish English
Article number3339
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2020


  • Biomedical IoT
  • Continuous weight measurement
  • Flexible packaging
  • Force sensor design
  • Gait monitoring
  • Shoe-integrated sensing


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