STTR Phase I: Analysis of Comprehensive Two Dimensional Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry for High-Throughput Metabolomics
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to develop an intelligent prosthetic foot that reduces the energy consumption of walking in amputees. Commercial prostheses use passive mechanisms to provide articulation, cushioning against heel impact, and elastic energy return; yet the energetic cost of amputee walking is high. Currently the most sophisticated prostheses are intelligent knees, which improve gait by actively controlling braking of the knee. Based on recent laboratory results, Intelligent Prosthetics proposes that controlled energy storage and release could significantly improve the efficiency of a prosthetic foot. Such a foot would store elastic energy after the foot strikes the ground, as in current products. Instead of returning energy spontaneously, however, active control would capture that energy with a latch mechanism and release it later in the gait cycle, coinciding with the push-off phase of able-bodied walking. The mechanism will be microprocessor-controlled and will require battery power mainly to actuate a latch. Phase I of this project will develop a prototype prosthesis, and experimentally test the conceptual feasibility of intelligently controlled energy release. The project intends to develop this concept into a commercial prosthesis with greater energy return and comfort than conventional designs, in a compact and lightweight package.
The technology of controlled energy release is intended primarily for the prosthetic foot market. However, the scientific findings could also apply to orthoses or rehabilitation technology for other disabled individuals, such as stroke and cerebral palsy patients. Similar technology could be applied to energy harvesting from locomotion, such as to power wearable electronic devices or more long-term applications such as powered exoskeletons for amplifying human performance.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Erik Nilsson
Research Institution Information:
4509 Interlake Ave N. Seattle, WA 98103
Number of Employees:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
750 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706
Nonprofit college or university