A new smart prosthetic ankle adjusts to different terrains, using a motor, actuator, sensors and a chip that make the foot conform to different types of surfaces.
The foot was designed by a team led by Dr. Michael Goldfarb at the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology at Vanderbilt University.
“I’ve tried hydraulic ankles that had no sort of microprocessors, and they’ve been clunky, heavy and unforgiving for an active person,” Mike Sasser, who is using the prosthetic in a trial, said in a write-up of the development on Vanderbilt’s website. “This isn’t that. It actually lifts the toe for you. There’s a definite market for this.”
The team hopes to commercialize the ankle within the next couple of years.