• Contact person: Anisoara Ionescu
  • People involved:
  • Partners: Istituto Nazionale Riposo Cura Anziani, Ab.Acus, CHUV, Stichting Imec-Nl, Mishan, Step of Mind, Geriatric Center Kosice, Technical University of Kosice, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, University of Strathclyde
  • Funding source:


SMILING shoes are training shoes for walking exercise aimed at improving mobility and counteracting falls. It is a devoted training system designed to challenge our brain in improving its capabilities to manage the performing of multiple tasks as the ones in our daily life.

The system consists of a pair of motorized shoes, able to change height and inclination at each step during walking. The system is designed to be managed directly by the person undergoing training by means of a devoted user unit, worn on the belt during the exercise.

Our brain is stimulated to learn, or re-learn, new motor strategies to make safer and effective these daily actions. The continuous change of positions of the shoes step by step, simulates an uneven ground and makes the exercise more challenging and unique.


Foot worn sensors were used to assess the change in gait performance of the elderly before and after rehabilitation with SMILING shoe. Evaluation is based on dedicated algorithms that estimate 3D kinematics of foot and extract gait parameters as clinical outcomes.


The system was used by about 65 elderly persons to evaluate its efficacy and to define the best training programs to improve mobility and walking.

Devoted gait analysis tools which have been designed at LMAM were validated against optical motion capture and implemented to select the best training for each persons and to measure the training results in terms of re-gained walking capabilities.


Journal Papers

 Mariani, B., Hoskovec, C., Rochat, S., Büla, C., Penders, J., Aminian, K. 3D gait assessment in young and elderly subjects using foot-worn inertial sensors. Journal of Biomechanics – 16 November 2010 (Vol. 43, Issue 15, Pages 2999-3006, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.07.003)


Van de Molengraft, J., Nimmala, S., Mariani, B., Aminian, K., Penders, J. Wireless 6D inertial measurement platform for ambulatory gait monitoring. In Proceedings of the 6th international workshop on Wearable, Micro and Nanosystems for Personalised Health, Oslo, Norway, 2009, 63-64.

Mariani, B., Aminian, K. 3D Gait Analysis using wearable 6D IMU on shoe. In Proceedings of the XIX Conference of the International Society for Posture & Gait Research, Bologna, Italy, 2009, 47-48.

Aminian, K., Mariani, B., Hoskovec, C., Rochat, S., Büla, C., Penders, J. 3D Gait assessment using wearable inertial sensors: walking performance in young and elderly subjects. In Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on the 3D Analysis of Human Movement, San Francisco, USA, 2010.

Mariani, B., Paraschiv-Ionescu, A., Aminian, K. An Instrumented 6 Minutes Walk Test: Assessment of 3D gait variability for outcome evaluation in elderly population. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Venice, Italy, 2010.

Smiling Website


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