Military Specific Advancements in Prosthetic Limb Design and Performance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-05-C-0147
Agency Tracking Number: O054-005-2016
Amount: $99,932.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD05-T005
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
BERKELEY EXOWORKS
63 Potomac Street, San Francisco, CA, 94117
DUNS: 190152921
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nathan Harding
 Principal Investigator
 (415) 533-8062
 nathan@berkeleyexoworks.com
Business Contact
 Jack Peurach
Title: President
Phone: (415) 722-9809
Email: jack@berkeleyexoworks.com
Research Institution
 UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA
 Homayoon Kazerooni
 Mechanical Engineering Dept, 5124 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA, 94720
 (510) 642-2964
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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