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NASA uses smart sandals to stop astronauts cheating their exercise routines

Sharif Sakr

A happy byproduct of zero gravity is an astronaut's ability to totally fake a power-lifting session. (Oh gosh this barbell is so heavy, Houston, do you copy?) Then again, given the rate at which the human body loses bone and muscle strength in a weightless environment, such cheating would almost certainly backfire. NASA has therefore decided equip its space travelers with Xsens ForceShoes, aka smart sandals, to ensure that each crew member is getting their necessary 2.5-hour daily dose on the agency's dedicated Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). The sandals can wirelessly report back torque and load forces at various points on the wearer's foot -- enough data to monitor whether dead lifts, squats and even bicep curls are being performed wholeheartedly. Then again, we should probably point out that none of this is official. NASA is publicly saying that the deployment of ForceShoes is merely to "validate the technology," and it is unrelated to the recent outbreak of laziness aboard the ISS.

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