Foot/Ankle Prosthesis Moves like the Real Thing

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The new prosthesis provides the most realistic movement thus far.

Researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium have developed the Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic or AMP  Foot 2.0. The prosthesis is designed to give wearers a very natural and lifelike gait and features an energy harvesting system that puts a natural spring back into someone’s step.

The average prosthetic uses springs or elastic to store and re-purpose the energy from a downward step to propel the wearer forward. However, this passive approach doesn’t mimic the motion and actions of a human leg well.

The AMP Foot 2.0, uses a lightweight motor that powers an actuator and specially designed locking release mechanism. The actuator keeps it so there’s always enough stored energy to push off someone weighing up to 165 pounds with every step. The time release mechanism matches the motion of someone walking on flat ground. The combination of these two things are what create the appearance of a natural walk.

The most impressive thing about the prosthesis is just how lightweight it is coming in a just five and half pounds. Coincidentally, the average weight of a human foot is five pounds. Because of it’s similarity in weight, in would not take someone long to learn to walk with the new prosthetic.

Prosthetics have been making progress in leaps and bounds in the last ten years with the increase of better technology. Pretty soon it will be hard to tell if anyone is wearing a prosthesis at all.

Nation

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