Intro: Prosthetic Legs
The models were created in Autodesk Mechanical Desktop to be analyse using 2D FEA to test strength of the joints. This was a research project for a mechanical engineering class
While many of the current prosthesis use a microprocessor to control much of the damping needed, natural gait requires kinetic energy to decelerate, much like knee muscles. New research and prototypes are using active knee interaction to achieve the forces need to vertical motion, allowing both legs to perform the lifting force needed to traverse a ramp or flight of stairs. Current devices use an electric motor to produce this operation, but some complications still need to be processed. Much like the Endolite Adaptive Knee, the device needs user inputs to better translate the required motions when needed
Future optimization can take many different paths. Technology is presenting promising developments in the fields of prosthetics and orthotics. Trends continue in a direction of stand-alone limbs that are programmed how to act given the environment conditions and, in some cases, muscle response. Further user interaction will continue to develop, meshing nerves with microprocessor to allow for natural control of these sophisticated artificial limbs. These bio-hybrid limbs will only require power for motors and hydraulic systems, where the micro-processing is returned to the wearer.
The plots below are Examples of the models used in the FEA of an advance designed prosthetic knee joint that uses damping to control motion and movement of the joint.