Prosthetic limbs are mechanical devices that are intended to replace missing limbs, and are designed to help regain control of an amputated limb. Current prosthetics offered on the market today are generally “bionic” or “basic”, depending on the user’s needs and price range. As the technology for these devices is continuously improving and becoming more advanced, however there are still many problems surrounding these prostheses. Due to the limited variation and customization of less expensive prosthetics, they are often difficult for amputees to adapt to the lack of control and mobility provided by these devices, and there is a possibility of developing other long term effects, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. These are often resultant of patients needing to expend enormous amounts of metabolic energy while using their artificial limb. Our design will attempt to reduce the amount of energy expended by the patient as they use the prosthesis. The device will have a pneumatic component that will release energy as the patient walks, so that less metabolic energy is required of the user, and more energy is put out by the device. With this component, the amputee will have the same range of mobility as a basic prosthetic, but will expend less energy. The device would attach to a patient's existing prosthesis as an add on attachment, to address reduction of cost to the prostheses.
Pneumatic Toe-Off Assist
Advisor: Dr. Matthew Leineweber
Authors: Jonelle Balducci, Priya Sidhu, Jake Zhang