Enschede, the Netherlands – June 24th 2014 – NASA launched the force and motion measuring shoes, co-developed by Xsens and University of Twente to outer space. One pair of Xsens force-measuring shoes, called ForceShoe, are now onboard the International Space Station (ISS). With the force and motion trackers in each shoe, the intensity of the astronauts’ workouts can be analyzed and perhaps optimized.
Resistive exercise is required so that astronauts can maintain healthy muscle and bone mass during prolonged exposure to microgravity environments. NASA is seeking a portable and reliable way of measuring forces while astronauts conduct exercise routines on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED), which is specialized exercise equipment installed on the ISS.
NASA uses a variety of load cell and motion trackers, like the Xsens products, to support their research efforts. NASA spent a lot of time verifying the technology incorporated into the ForceShoe works well on the ground before launching the shoes into space. The ForceShoe passed a series of rigorous tests, including parabolic flight tests, before NASA was confident enough to evaluate the technology on the ISS.
Professor Peter Veltink, who led the development of the shoes at the University of Twente noted, “It’s a proud moment to know that the shoes are now orbiting earth on the International Space Station.”
The shoes were launched with the Russian Soyuz May 28th 2014.