We last reported on the powered ankle-foot prosthesis developed at MIT, and that was going to be commercialized by iWalk (Bedford, MA), four years ago. Now thanks to WRBL News 3 out of Columbus, Georgia we get to see the final product, called BiOM, being used by amputees to walk in a very proper gait.
The device is the only prosthetic that mimics the functions of calf muscles and Achilles tendon, helping the wearer walk naturally, as well as saving the person’s own energy. The technology allows people using the BiOM to walk further without getting exhausted while maintaining a stable, comfortable gait, and actually speed up how fast they get around.
Judging by the video below, it would be hard to tell someone wearing the BiOM from a non-amputee once the device is covered up by pants.
From the product page:
By using robotics to replicate the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, the BiOM feels and functions like no other prostheses. With each step, the BiOM provides a powered push-off which propels the wearer forward. It is that robotic effort that enables the BiOM to normalize both the gait and metabolic demands to that of non-amputees.
It is the only prosthesis in the world that does not depend on the wearer’s energy. For the first time, the prosthesis is driving the human, instead of the other way around.
Powered plantar flexion is the transformation point where prosthetics become bionic. The BiOM is the only device in commercial production that achieves bionic functionality where robotics effectively emulate natural movement.
Flashbacks: PowerFoot One: Active Ankle-foot Prosthesis from MIT Unveiled; ‘Embracing the Artificial Limb’
Product page: iWalk BiOM…