Online gait event detection using a large force platform embedded in a treadmill

Melvyn Roerdink, Bert (H.) Coolen, Bert (H.)E. Clairbois, Claudine J.C. Lamoth, Peter J. Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


Gait research and clinical gait training may benefit from movement-dependent event control, that is, technical applications in which events such as obstacle appearance or visual/acoustic cueing are (co)determined online on the basis of current gait properties. A prerequisite for successful gait-dependent event control is accurate online detection of gait events such as foot contact (FC) and foot off (FO). The objective of the present study was to assess the feasibility of online FC and FO detection using a single large force platform embedded in a treadmill. Center-of-pressure, total force output and kinematic data were recorded simultaneously in 12 healthy participants. Online FC and FO estimates and spatial and temporal gait parameters estimated from the force platform data-i.e., center-of-pressure profiles-were compared to offline kinematic counterparts, which served as the gold standard. Good correspondence was achieved between online FC detections using center-of-pressure profiles and those derived offline from kinematic data, whereas FO was detected 31 ms too late. A good relative and absolute agreement was achieved for both spatial and temporal gait parameters, which was improved further by applying more fine-grained FO estimation procedures using characteristic local minima in the total force output time series. These positive results suggest that the proposed system for gait-dependent event control may be successfully implemented in gait research as well as gait interventions in clinical practice. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2628-2632
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28-Aug-2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Center-of-pressure
  • Force data
  • Gait kinematics
  • Online event detection
  • Treadmill walking
  • adult
  • article
  • body movement
  • female
  • foot
  • gait
  • human
  • kinematics
  • male
  • normal human
  • priority journal
  • treadmill

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