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:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Brenton Engineering , powered by ... flow wrapped products at WestPack 2015, February 9-11, in Anaheim, California. This new ... semi-automatic or fully-automatic case packing with a small footprint, rugged, highly flexible, and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Tingley Rubber ... Canada to provide its range of unique and advantaged protective solutions to ... that will provide bilingual customer service and marketing support. A new distribution center ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The Bell Agency, a ... latest beneficiary of their ongoing community enrichment program. The current campaign fundraises for ... Donations are now being accepted at: http://www.angelsanddoves.com/donate.html . , Angels & Doves ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... helped raise $792,000 to help combat pancreatic cancer. , Gary D. Radine, who recently ... who also was the American Cancer Society’s 2015 CEO of the Year , ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... , ... Remember the old saying “rub some dirt on it”? Perhaps you ... “Calcium Bentonite Clay” the health benefits of integrating clay into a daily diet are ... A former motivational speaker, Perry A~ has since dedicated her life to learning about ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 9, 2016 ... developing novel, clinical-stage therapies for sickle cell disease and heart ... common stock and warrants to purchase common stock in an ... other conditions, and there can be no assurance as to ... to the actual size or terms of the offering.   ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 9, 2016 Hearing ... amount of sound energy transmitted to the inner ear. ... and hearing bands. These devices are recommended for users ... eight hours. Earplugs refer to HPD that are inserted ... attenuation earplugs are designed to provide more natural sound ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 9, 2016 This ... surgical interventions, reported by the ICD-9 coding system in ... to the surgical procedure volumes, the report provides written ... and dynamics of the local markets. In addition, the latest ... --> --> The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: