ELECTROHYDRAULIC ACTUATOR FOR LIMB PROSTHESIS
Technological advances in protheses development have moved increasingly towards incorporating electromechanical parts that co-operate with the user to facilitate limb movement and mobility. These devices must, therefore, support the user throughout the various phase of the gait cycle, which vary from person to persons. For this reason, the most advanced prosthetic devices have a behaviour that may be either active or passive depending on the operating phase being executed, during which they exert, respectively, either a motive action or a resistant action during the knee extension and flexion phases. To this end, the prosthetic devices known in the art typically comprise one or more actuators, springs and other electro-mechanical components (pumps, valves, batteries, gears, etc.), which can operate in an actuated or semi-actuated manner in order to affect the prosthesis’ movements.
Featured is a leg prothesis equipped with an actuator capable of both generating and collecting energy, to increase the autonomy of the device and the versatility of the limbs. Thanks also to the minimal noise generated during operation it may as well be worn by the patient for extended periods of time. The actuator used within the prothesis is a linear electro-hydrostatic (EHA) model, a fully integrated and optimized for a motorized limb prosthesis, more compact and efficient than traditional drives based on electro-mechanical gears. Although the prosthesis is intended to be used as a lower limb, its application can be extended to the upper limbs, as well. Furthermore, the actuator can also be integrated within other devices not intended for rehabilitation.
- Use in other wearable or portable devices.
- Small, compact and easy to use;
- Minimal noise;
- Generates and stored energy, increasing operating times.