A little spring in your step

December 2007
Marketing Health Services;Winter2007, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p8
Academic Journal
The article reveals that a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created the world's first robotic ankle. The author reports that unlike any other prosthetic device, the ankle-foot drives users forward with a tiny electric motor, powered by battery, and multiple tendon-like springs. The power-assisted spring stores the energy of the user's forward motion, which gets released when the foot pushes off. The device enhances balance, decreases fatigue, and provides a smoother gait. Traditional prosthetic devices require users to apply almost 30% more energy than nonamputees, and exhibit an awkward gait. Researchers are expected to commercially release the ankle-foot by the summer 2008.


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