One of the groups that presented engineering projects at Frisch’s first annual Science Research and Engineering Symposium included Adam Blake 10th graders of West Orange, Gabi Weiss of Englewood, and Cassandra Scarpa of Spring Valley. Their project, overseen by engineering teacher and electrical engineer Rifkie Silverman, was a digital supportive boot meant to be worn by someone with a foot injury.
“Often, people get injured again after breaking their foot because they’re putting too much pressure on a certain part of it. So our boot would help them with this,” said Scarpa.
“When you break your foot, you get one of these boots and the doctor usually says, ‘Don’t put a certain amount of pressure on your foot,’ but you never know what that really means,” said Blake. “Our boot allows the pressure to become quantitative, so you’re able to set it so that as you walk along, you’re able to put on more and more pressure, and if you do put on too much pressure, then it will inform you with sound and with lights,” he said.
“You can set different pressures on each of the sensors on each area of the boot,” said Weiss.
Using a simple circuit, hot glue, duct tape, and a few other items, the boot is a prototype now. But the group has lots of ideas for its use and practical application in the real world. “We know this is a common problem,” said Weiss.
Blake said one of the inspirations for the project was a person he knows who has injured his foot many times. Blake said a boot like this would be helpful for lots of people in that situation.
By Elizabeth Kratz