Design and testing of a prosthetic foot with interchangeable custom springs for evaluating lower leg trajectory error, an optimization metric for prosthetic feet

Victor Prost, Kathryn M. Olesnavage, W. Brett Johnson, Matthew J. Major, V. Amos G. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An experimental prosthetic foot intended for evaluating a novel design objective is presented. This objective, called the lower leg trajectory error (LLTE), enables the optimization of passive prosthetic feet by modeling the trajectory of the shank during single support for a given prosthetic foot and selecting design variables that minimize the error between this trajectory and able-bodied kinematics. A light-weight, fully characterized test foot with variable ankle joint stiffness was designed to evaluate the LLTE. The test foot can replicate the range of motion of a physiological ankle over a range of different ankle joint stiffnesses. The test foot consists of a rotational ankle joint machined from acetal resin, interchangeable U-shaped nylon springs that range from 1.5 N· m/deg to 24 N· m/deg, and a flexible nylon forefoot with a bending stiffness of 16 N·m2. The U-shaped springs were designed to support a constant moment along their length to maximize strain energy density; this feature was critical in creating a high-stiffness and highrange of motion ankle. The design performed as predicted during mechanical and in vivo testing, and its modularity allowed us to rapidly vary the ankle joint stiffness. Qualitative feedback from preliminary testing showed that this design is ready for use in large scale clinical trials to further evaluate the use of the LLTE as an optimization objective for passive prosthetic feet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021010
JournalJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • Compliant mechanisms
  • Mechanism design
  • Prosthetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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