Researchers at MIT have developed a robotic ankle-foot prosthesis that allows wearers to walk with a more natural gait. Using springs to mimic the actions of human tendons, the prosthesis represents a major advance in ankle prosthesis technology. Here’s how it works, according to the press release:
The energy produced from the forward motion of the person wearing the prosthesis is stored in the power-assisted spring, and then released as the foot pushes off. Additional mechanical energy is also added to help momentum.
The prosthesis, called PowerFoot One, contains a small, computer-assisted motor which lets the person using it expend 30% less energy than required by conventional prostheses. It’s also lighter in weight and more flexible than current models. MIT expects it to be marked publicly in 2008.
Thanks to medGadget
Read more at MIT News