An early warning system for diabetic automobile drivers with peripheral neuropathy Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose: People with Type 2 diabetes exhibit peripheral neuropathy that results in the progressive loss of sensation in their feet. This may adversely affect their ability to drive as there is the potential for their foot to slip off the accelerator or brake pedals, with unwanted consequences including traffic accidents. This research aimed to develop a prototype for an adaptive haptic foot device for diabetic drivers experiencing peripheral neuropathy that can serve as an early warning system for foot slip during driving.Methods: A prototype system was designed in the laboratory which consisted of four force sensing resistors, four light emitting diodes and an eccentric rotating mass all connected and programmed through an Arduino Uno. The prototype was tested under controlled conditions and validated against recommended specifications. The system was then installed in a Ford Falcon GT 2005 and tested under controlled road conditions.Results: The results indicated that the haptic device was effective in sensing foot locations and providing instant audio and video feedback to the driver.Conclusion: This research has successfully designed and fabricated a haptic feedback device that can be used as an early warning system for diabetic automobile drivers with peripheral neuropathy.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONA haptic foot prototype device capable of generating warning signals to diabetic drivers whose foot could slip off the brake or accelerator pedals has been developed.The prototype includes force sensing receivers integrated with eccentric rotating mass system, a haptic controller breakout board, and Arduino software.The system is very easy to use and provides highly reliable audio and visual feedback which are good alerting mechanisms for older automobile drivers.

publication date

  • 2019