Ossur, an Iceland-based developer of orthopedic prosthetic devices, is poised to launch Proprio Foot™ later this year, “the world’s first motor-powered and intelligent foot that thinks for itself.”
Company explains its “smart” technology:
The PROPRIO FOOT thinks for itself, responding beautifully to changing terrain and transforming the approach to stairs and slopes, as well as level-ground walking. Angling itself appropriately, it also helps amputees to sit and stand up easily and more naturally. Heel height can be changed easily with no impact on alignment of the prosthesis. Overall, the effect is a feeling of improved proprioception with a more balanced, symmetric and confident gait with reduced wear and tear on the back, hips and knees.
Cutting edge sensor technology and artificial intelligence identifies sloping gradients and the ascent or descent of stairs after the first step, and instructs the ankle to flex appropriately. Users can place the foot fully on a step when climbing or descending stairs and it will automatically adapt its ankle position to enable the next step.
This active ankle motion also allows users to When sitting down the PROPRIO FOOT™ aligns to planterflexion.tuck both feet back behind their knees when getting up from a chair or sitting down. It also points the ‘toe’ down for a more natural appearance once seated. When walking, it automatically gives the ‘toe’ a lift at the exact moment in swing phase that will allow sufficient ground clearance. This anatomically correct response creates a more symmetrical and balanced gait, reducing the need both to ‘hip hike’ when walking or compromise stability by rolling over the edge of a step when going down stairs. Nor is there any need to load the entire body weight on the sound limb when getting out of a chair. Despite its sophisticated technology, the PROPRIO FOOT has an extremely user-friendly design and is easy to set up and operate. During a simple calibration process involving 15 steps the device evaluates and memorizes an individual’s unique gait pattern. Heel height can be easily adjusted at any time without compromising alignment.