Powered artificial limbs are a marvel of engineering and like most fine pieces of machinery, these prosthetic pieces require regular maintenance. Currently much of this fine tuning is handled by prosthetics experts in a painstakingly long and expensive process, but that reality may change thanks to a team of bioengineers from North Carolina (NC) State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The researchers are developing a software algorithm that would tune artificial limbs automatically while the limb wearer is walking throughout the day.
You might not realize it, but powered prosthetics are complicated pieces of machinery and require more than just a simple fitting before a wearer can take off for a stroll on their artificial limbs. The limbs need to be calibrated to each individual’s physical condition, taking into account their weight, muscle strength, and other characteristics; such as the joint angle of their gait All these parameters and more are adjusted so the limb can mimic the person’s normal joint motion and recreate their natural gait of walking.