Navigation Links
Artificial foot recycles energy for easier walking
Date:2/16/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---An artificial foot that recycles energy otherwise wasted in between steps could make it easier for amputees to walk, its developers say.

"For amputees, what they experience when they're trying to walk normally is what I would experience if I were carrying an extra 30 pounds," said Art Kuo, professor in the University of Michigan departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Compared with conventional prosthetic feet, the new prototype device significantly cuts the energy spent per step.

A paper about the device is published in the Feb. 17 edition of in the journal PLoS ONE. The foot was created by Kuo and Steve Collins, who was then a U-M graduate student. Now Collins is an associate research fellow at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The human walking gait naturally wastes energy as each foot collides with the ground in between steps.

A typical prosthesis doesn't reproduce the force a living ankle exerts to push off of the ground. As a result, test subjects spent 23 percent more energy walking with a conventional prosthetic foot, compared with walking naturally. To test how stepping with their device compared with normal walking, the engineers conducted their experiments with non-amputees wearing a rigid boot and prosthetic simulator.

In their energy-recycling foot, the engineers put the wasted walking energy to work enhancing the power of ankle push-off. The foot naturally captures the dissipated energy. A microcontroller tells the foot to return the energy to the system at precisely the right time.

Based on metabolic rate measurements, the test subjects spent 14 percent more energy walking in energy-recycling artificial foot than they did walking naturally. That's a significant decrease from the 23 percent more energy they used in the conventional prosthetic foot, Kuo says.

"We know there's an energy penalty in using an artificial foot," Kuo said. "We're almost cutting that penalty in half."

He explained how this invention differs from current technologies.

"All prosthetic feet store and return energy, but they don't give you a choice about when and how. They just return it whenever they want," Kuo said. "This is the first device to release the energy in the right way to supplement push-off, and to do so without an external power source."

Other devices that boost push-off power use motors and require large batteries.

Because the energy-recycling foot takes advantage of power that would otherwise be lost, it uses less than 1 Watt of electricity through a small, portable battery.

"Individuals with lower limb amputations, such as veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan or patients suffering from diabetes, often find walking a difficult task. Our new design may restore function and reduce effort for these users," Collins said. "With further progress, robotic limbs may yet beat their biological forerunners."

This paper demonstrates that the engineers' idea works. They are now testing the foot on amputees at the Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Commercial devices based on the technology are under development by an Ann Arbor company.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
ncmoore@umich.edu
734-647-1838
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Herbal Water Creating Taste Sensation: Ayalas Herbal Water Has No Calories, No Preservatives and No Artificial Additives. Just All the Natural Benefits of Herbs!
2. Brain measurements could lead to better devices to move injured or artificial limbs
3. Wearable Artificial Kidney Passes Test
4. Artificial skin system can heal wounds
5. Significantly higher success rates with artificial insemination
6. Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain
7. Does artificial intelligence help clinicians to recognize atrophic gastritis with thyroid disease?
8. Rodent study finds artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs
9. Bay State Restaurants Still Using Artificial Trans Fat Despite Health Risks
10. Global Cervical Artificial Disc Market to Hit $1 Billion by 2012
11. Genetic test improves artificial fertilization
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... As directed by its board of directors during its ... support to allow certified nurse practitioners (CNP) to practice to the full scope of ... supervision for three years and 3,600 hours. , In addition, HAP supports CNPs who ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... The Civilian Corps of the U.S. Army Medical Command ... care for its uniformed service members, the retired service members, their families and other ... through May 12th National Nurses Week. It acknowledges the hard work and dedication of ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... “Engineering Bubbles,” an oil painting submitted by Canadian radiology resident ... recently at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The first annual art forum was ... Annual Meeting attendees. , “Through art I hope to educate people about radiology ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... WestHarbor Growth Partners, a growth, expansion and turnaround ... Healthy Vending’s newly revamped brand campaign. Grow Healthy Vending is headquartered in ... North America with locations across the United States as well as internationally. ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... East Los Angeles dentist ... patients can visit Dr. Assili to receive any dental extraction treatment for $40 off ... expires June 30, 2016. With the lower price, patients can more easily afford extractions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ...  is expected to reach USD 11.1 billion by ... Grand View Research, Inc. Major drivers of the ... in therapeutic areas and government recommendations for periodic ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 ... glyco-biology expertise, today announces the appointment of Dr. ... Dr. Zurlo is an oncologist with many years clinical ... and biotechnology industries. His last role was at Mologen ... of the Executive Board. Previously Dr. Zurlo held various ...
(Date:4/28/2016)...  Marking its one year anniversary since launching ... risk test, Color Genomics announced a ... impact the most common hereditary cancers affecting both ... analyzes hereditary cancer risks for breast, colorectal, melanoma, ... Color Test is physician ordered and includes genetic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: