An assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University has developed a robotic prosthesis for people with transfemoral amputations that uses a rotary spring to help reduce the device’s weight. The design also uses series elastic actuators that can be added to the motor of a robotic device used to control force and increase shock tolerance and compliance with the surrounding environment.
“We’re optimizing the design of the structure so that we can minimize the weight, and so that we can cut off some parts which, based on our analysis, are not necessary so that we can make it lighter,” said Pilwon Hur, PhD. “We can lower the specs of the motor, allowing us to use a much lighter motor to achieve the same goal. The spring saves energy and that energy can be used to control the system, so the use of battery power is minimized.”
Editor’s note: This story was adapted from materials provided by Texas A&M Today.