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Military Specific Advancements in Prosthetic Limb Design and Performance

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ekso Bionics Inc
1414 Harbour Way South Suite 1201 Richmond, CA 94804-3628
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Military Specific Advancements in Prosthetic Limb Design and Performance
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: W81XWH-05-C-0147
Award Amount: $99,932.00


This proposal seeks to improve the performance of above-the-knee prostheses by developing several key technologies that are currently unavailable in such devices. First, the high power output required of the prostheses in military maneuvers such as climbing or running will be provided by a customized lightweight and compact active actuation scheme. Although power limitations traditionally barred prostheses from employing actuation, our preliminary analysis has shown great potential for energy recovery and regeneration by harnessing the cyclical nature of locomotion. Coupled with the design of an actively actuated prosthetic knee will be the development of a lightweight energy recovery/regeneration system. Based on our initial analysis, such a system would not only greatly improve the performance of the prosthetic by allowing for a powered joint, but also decrease the frequency, if not completely eliminate the need, of changing or charging batteries. The system will be controlled with a novel impedance control paradigm that will rely on sensors taking measurements from both the amputee's remaining limb and the ground. Our preliminary investigations indicate that by successfully combining these three elements (active actuation, energy recovery system, and multi-input impedance control), a high performance prosthetic suitable to the rigors of active duty personnel will result.

Principal Investigator:

Nathan Harding
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Jack Peurach
Small Business Information at Submission:

Berkeley Exoworks
63 Potomac Street San Francisco, CA 94117

EIN/Tax ID: 870741846
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Mechanical Engineering Dept, 5124 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
Contact: Homayoon Kazerooni
Contact Phone: (510) 642-2964
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university