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.
Artificial Foot Takes Forceful Step Alan S Brown Mechanical Engineering; Jul 2010; 132, 7; Docstoc pg. 19 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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