Motion For Life
Drop Foot is a motor function disorder which results from brain injury or disorders such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or strokes. Drop foot inhibits one’s ability to dorsiflex the foot, i.e. lift their foot towards their shin. This inability leads to one dragging the tip of their foot when walking, which significantly decreases one's walking and can lead to their foot catching and causing one to trip and fall.
Our goal at MOOV is to create a variable friction shoe to normalize the livelihood of those suffering from drop foot. This shoe significantly increases the fluidity of motion for the user, which increases their walking speed while also virtually eliminating their chance of tripping. The shoe accomplishes this by employing a low friction material which allows the user to glide their foot effortlessly across any surface, then, when the user places their foot down for a step, a high friction material extends out, allowing the user to step normally without slipping. In order to create the best product possible, we must first perform rigorous testing to optimize the design for maximum effectiveness. To test, we created two rigs to test the durability and functionality of the shoe. One test rig, the step test rig, mimics the downward stepping motion to ensure the foam, which allows the high friction material to extend, can withstand six months’ worth of use without failing. While the second testing rig, the scuff test rig, imitates the dragging motion of the user to ensure the low friction material will not severely degrade after repeated use.
Both rigs accurately simulate six months’ worth of walking in under a week. The data collected from these tests allows us to analyze what materials perform best for our purpose and what design is most beneficial for the user.