Within the Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research Group, great effort is made in the research of energy efficient lower limb prostheses.
Several prototypes have been built such as a Powered prosthesis using PPAM (IPPAM), The AMP-Foot 1.0 and 1.1, The AMP-Foot 2.0 and the HEKTA.
The Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic (AMP-) Foot 2.0 is an energy efficient powered transtibial prosthesis mimicking non-pathological ankle behaviour. The innovation of this study is to harvest energy from motion while storing energy produced by a low power electric motor. The stored energy is then released with a delay when necessary for push-off thanks to the use of a locking system.
This work is funded by the European Commissions 7th Framework Program as part of the project VIACTORS under grant no. 231554 and Cyberlegs under grant no. 287894.
CYBERLEGs, acronym for “The CYBERnetic Lower-Limb Cognitive Ortho-prosthesis”, is a Collaborative Research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The Consortium, which is composed of five partners from three different EU Countries, is coordinated by prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, from The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy. The CYBERLEGs project started on February 1, 2012.
This work has been funded by the European Commissions
7th framework Program as part of the project Cyberlegs
under grant no. 287894.
The main issues with the current transfemoral
prostheses are the insufficient ankle plantarflexion resulting
in an insufficient push-off and the lack of knee flexion during
stance phase. The HEKTA (Harvest Energy from the Knee
and Transfer it to the Ankle) is a prototype of a prosthesis that
allows a transfemoral amputee to walk overground with a
more natural gait pattern. The prototype allows knee flexion
during the stance phase and harvests the energy that needs to
be dissipated during the swing phase. The energy is
transferred to the ankle where it provides an active push off.
This work has been funded by the European Commisions 7th Framework
Program as part of the project VIACTORS under grant no. 231554 and
Cyberlegs under grant no. 287894
AMP-Foot 1.0 & 1.1
AMP-Foot stands for Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic foot. It is
theoretically shown that the AMP-Foot establishes the required plantarflexion at push-off, while the
energy return is comparable to that seen in the able-bodied.
The AMP-Foot's most important property is that it can do this without
consuming energy, which is not the case for most state-of-the-art
transtibial prostheses. The first prototype of the AMP-Foot was
preliminary tested; first on an able-bodied subject, then on a
transfemoral amputee. Based on the test results a redesign was performed
which led to the AMP-Foot 1.1. Based on the same principles, the AMP-Foot 1.1
has shown a nextended push-off with a significant energy return.
The main goal of this project is to improve the gait pattern of transtibial amputees and try to let their pattern evolve in a more efficient manner by developing an intelligent prosthesis.
This prosthesis is actuated by pleated pneumatic artificial muscles. By controlling the air pressure in these muscles, a system with variable compliance is realised. The key advantage of such a system is that the natural step frequency is adjustable related to the movement circumstances. Also shock absorption and intrinsic safety must be mentioned as important advantages.