Artificial Foot Takes Forceful Step by ProQuest


A new artificial foot uses one of the simplest mechanical devices, a spring, to recycle energy ordinarily wasted between steps. The prosthesis uses hardly any battery power, yet reduces by nearly 40% the amount of additional energy that amputees need to take each step. Based on metabolic rate measurements, test subjects spent only 14% more energy walking on the energy-recycling foot than they did walking naturally. 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. Their new design may restore function and reduce effort for these users, Steve Collins, an associate research fellow at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, said.

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