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SBIR Phase II: Compliant Jack Spring Actuators for Lower Limb Mobility

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
SpringActive, Inc.
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: SBIR Phase II: Compliant Jack Spring Actuators for Lower Limb Mobility
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0956828
Award Amount: $500,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop a novel, spring-based, adjustable stiffness actuator, that will power future wearable robots and exoskeletons. The actuator will be integrated into a powered prosthetic ankle which will meet the demanding requirements for lower limb mobility. Its unique ability to tune stiffness allows it to be customized to an individual, a significant impact in the wearable robotics field. It will meet the demanding design requirements that include the tradeoffs between high power need, low energy usage, compliance, robust sensing of forces, and high cycle demands. The end result is a powered ankle?]foot prosthesis that will provide near able?]bodied function to a lower leg amputee. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it will restore normal walking function to below?]the?]knee amputees. Such a device will increase symmetry and duration of walking. In fact, a below?]the?]knee amputee wearing a passive prosthetic device typically uses 20?]30% more energy to walk than an able bodied walker. Asymmetry in an amputees gait leads to joint pain, arthritis, and back pain. Because of the difficulty to walk, their conditions often lead to a more sedentary lifestyle decreasing their already limited mobility. It is documented that decreased mobility increases health risks. Elderly or overweight individuals may benefit from the technology as well. Adaptation of the technology to the powered orthosis market will expand its benefits to weak and disabled populations. In general, these groups have a more sedentary lifestyle and sometimes rely on the use of powered scooters. Because of the growing population of people with diabetes, elderly, and individuals with reduced walking ability, powered lower?]limb robots will have a significant societal impact improving health by supporting an active lifestyle.

Principal Investigator:

Kevin W. Hollander

Business Contact:

Kevin W. Hollander
Small Business Information at Submission:

1537 E. Northshore Dr Tempe, AZ 85283

EIN/Tax ID: 134339017
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No