Below-the-knee amputations are caused primarily by peripheral vascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, trauma and congenital limb deficiencies. With an average cost between $5,000 and $50,000 for this prosthesis, patients without insurance cannot obtain the assistive device. Furthermore, these assistive devices need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years due to fatigue, making this assistive device a lifetime investment. To reduce the cost of the assistive device, I have designed a low-cost, customizable prosthesis called Hermes that can accommodate to a patient’s unique needs and lifestyle. By using interchangeable, 3D printed parts and various materials, a majority of Hermes’s components can be mass produced, lowering the cost in both manufacturing and to the patient. The use of interchangeable parts also enables the user to maintain their own prosthesis. Users can also extend the lifespan of their product by adjusting the device to accommodate changes in their lifestyle, weight and height.

Hermes: A Low-Cost, Customizable Below-the-Knee Prosthesis

Advisor: Smita Duorah

Authors: Garrett Wiggs