How the PR1 works
What is motor learning?
Motor learning is the process of learning how to perform a certain movement or skill. The process requires repetition and feedback in order to refine and ingrain the movement pattern until it can be performed with minimal to no conscious effort. This is often referred to as muscle memory.
Why feedback matters
The process of motor learning does not guarantee that you will learn the correct movement pattern. You can just as easily reinforce a bad movement pattern. Feedback guides motor learning.
Real-time feedback (RTF) is given during the activity. Our entire sensory system (eyes, ears, hands/feet) is based on intrinsic RTF. If there was a significant delay in the processing of information, we would have a hard time navigating our environment. Imagine a 5-second delay on everything you see or hear.
How the PR1 leverages RTF
The PR1 uses auditory RTF to control footstrike. A pressure sensor in the PR1 provides auditory feedback only when too much pressure is placed on the heel. This creates a powerful feedback loop that reinforces a proper forefoot strike movement pattern.