The main purpose of this project is the development of a multifunctional artificial foot, capable of duplicate a human foot in a laboratory environment, in order to evaluate and simulate footwear's performance under certain conditions. This foot is used as a laboratory prototype and is multisegmented, in order that each section is controlled independently in terms of heat generation and sweating rate, therefore it is possible to simulate more accurately the real behaviour of a human foot. The device produces thermal insulation values that will help to design footwear with better ability in terms of thermal comfort, replacing human volunteers in thermal comfort perception tests, which are very subjective. The prototype was already tested, and preliminary results indicated that thermal insulation values are within the range of expected values produced by other foot thermal manikins and by human volunteers' tests. This fact suggests that this lab prototype can be used infuture thermal comfort evaluations.
Development of an artificial multifunctional foot: A project review
João Almeida, Maria José Ferreira, Pedro Lobarinhas, Luís F. Silva, Abílio Leite, Alfredo Araújo, Fernando Sousa; Development of an artificial multifunctional foot: A project review. AIP Conf. Proc. 17 October 2013; 1558 (1): 1394–1399. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4825776
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