Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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ACTIVE BIOMIMETIC ANKLE-FOOT PROSTHESIS

Ankle-footbiomechatronicsbiomimeticgait analysisProsthesisRobotics

Introduction

The very few existing prostheses that can accurately reproduce the ankle-foot system are still experimental. The structure of this patented active ankle-foot prosthesis is directly inspired by the actual anatomic configuration of the human ankle-foot system and can therefore mimic its different functions.

Technical features

This patented prosthesis contains many specific innovative functions that make it stand out both among energy storing and returning feet (ESR) as well as among bionic feet. Its structure includes six sensorized articulations, two arches of the foot connected to the forefoot, an ankle joint composed of a talocrural and subtalar articulation, along with series elastic elements in the motor. Together these elements offer those who study biomechanics a versatile and functional instrument for in depth analysis of the walking gait and for the development of control algorithms based on multiple parameters. Once certified, the prosthesis will offer lower limb amputees a new perspective in terms of comfort and natural walking gait. It can be used in either the active (motorised) or passive mode, without any changes to the design. The prototype is currently undergoing in vivo testing inside the compatible patented test bench (link).

Related Patent: Walking Simulator for Lower Limb Prothesis Testing

Possible Applications

  • Prosthesis for lower-limb amputees;
  • Lower limb biomechanics, especially ankle-foot joint research for prosthetics;
  • Highly accurate footwear tests (with the test bench);
  • Highly sensorized diagnostic device for walking gait analysis of prosthesis users.

Advantages

  • Accurate reproduction of the biological ankle-foot joint (6 articulations);
  • Highly sensorized;
  • Suitable for different walking surfaces;
  • Maximum energy efficiency, thanks to the elastic elements;
  • Promotes greater symmetry in the gait of one-legged amputees.