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Electronics & Test
Prosthetic Limbs Mimic Soldiers' Movements
5/14/2012

Outfitted with one of the Army's newly designed autoadaptive and flexible prosthetic limbs, Army Staff Sgt. Billy Costello, who lost his leg in combat, stretches and flexes his foot.   (Source: Department of Defense)
Outfitted with one of the Army's newly designed autoadaptive and flexible prosthetic limbs, Army Staff Sgt. Billy Costello, who lost his leg in combat, stretches and flexes his foot.
(Source: Department of Defense)

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camaro
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Iron
battery life
camaro   5/18/2012 3:23:55 PM
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I've seen stuff focusing on kinetic energy for charging batteries for cell phones and media players. I think the adaptation of this technology to these would be straight forward. Battery life should not be an issue. When I walk I charge.

John

 

Greg M. Jung
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Platinum
Battery Regeneration
Greg M. Jung   5/16/2012 10:14:03 PM
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Impressive and moving article.  One section mentioned it can recharge while in use.  I'm wondering if this means it connects to external power or if it can recapture some of the work energy and turn it back into electrical energy?

Ann R. Thryft
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Materials used
Ann R. Thryft   5/15/2012 2:46:44 PM
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Interesting that one of the materials use is titanium, which apparently has superb properties for structural uses, but is also extremely expensive. For that reason, it's usually confined to military and some medical applications, like surgical instruments, as well as sports.

NadineJ
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Re: great for athletes
NadineJ   5/15/2012 11:26:41 AM
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@Charles: considering it was his very first time taking steps on the limb he just received the day before, I think his gait is fantastic.

TJ McDermott
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Built in redundancy?
TJ McDermott   5/15/2012 2:05:03 AM
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The article made me think of British WWII fighter pilot Douglas Bader (lost both legs before the war, but still was able to return to duty and become an ace 4 times over).

The article made me think of a common theme found here at Design News this past year, that of battery life.  How long does a charge last for this brilliant prosthetics?  Forget about our smartphone battery life; these are reason enough to dedicate research dollars into better power storage.

inevitably, at some point the battery in them will run out at a less than opportune time.  I wonder if these brilliant prosthetics have some sort of "run flat" mode.  Can they still be used without power?  Maybe not as naturally and effortlessly, but I hope the user isn't left stranded.

Charles Murray
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Re: great for athletes
Charles Murray   5/14/2012 6:14:12 PM
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The soldier shown in the video limps slightly, but his gait is far more natural than what you normally see with wearers of prosthetic limbs. I do wonder how similar this technology is to that of iWalk, a Massachusetts-based company that we've written about proviously. iWalk developed a powered ankle that offers an amazing improvement for prostheses wearers.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=229761

Rob Spiegel
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Re: great for athletes
Rob Spiegel   5/14/2012 4:10:25 PM
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I remember how surprising it was when I first saw someone running with a prosthetic leg. I also like the fact they don't try to dress it up to look like a human leg. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: great for athletes
Ann R. Thryft   5/14/2012 3:18:34 PM
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This is impressive: as Rob says, I also remember the Vietnam vets' artificial limbs and how inadequate they were. This is lightyears ahead.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: great for athletes
Rob Spiegel   5/14/2012 2:47:37 PM
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These prosthetic limbs have come a long way in my lifetime. I remember the Viet Nam vets coming how with prosthetic limbs. The vets I knew could hardly walk on their limbs given the pain the prosthetics caused.


NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
great for athletes
NadineJ   5/14/2012 2:28:59 PM
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Thanks for another fantastic article.  Many service people are naturally athletic.  It's good to see the medical prosthetics industry continuing to offer real quality of life for those who've lost limbs.  Many civilians in the world, mostly children, who lose limbs to land mines could benefit from this also.

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