Hiking, going cycling with friends. With the right prosthetic leg, amputees can once again lead an active life. Ottobock and maxon motor are helping to improve the quality of their lives.

The Intelligent Prosthetic Leg

Contributed by | Maxon

In their daily lives, amputees are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles such as crowds of people and paths with rough surfaces. With the right leg prosthesis, such hurdles are easy to overcome. The C-Leg is a microprocessor-controlled prosthetic leg that makes the life of many people with above-knee amputations much easier. The fact that more than 60,000 people worldwide use the C-Leg attests to the strengths of this technology.

The medical technology company Ottobock developed the leg prosthesis and the accompanying C-Leg technology. It was first launched in 1997 and has been developed continuously ever since. The current model is the C-Leg 4, the best C-Leg of all time according to the manufacturer. Enhanced stumble recovery, improvements in the stance and swing phase, a new carbon fiber frame design, and an intuitive stance function allow the C-Leg to be used in a wider range of applications.

Studies show that the fourth generation C-Leg is the safest model with a microprocessor-controlled knee joint.

 

Intelligent walking

The intelligent knee joint continuously monitors which phase of the gait cycle the prosthesis wearer is in and adjusts in real time. This allows users to move about freely without having to concentrate on their steps all the time, for example when they are going downstairs, walking on challenging surfaces, or even moving backwards. On the new C-Leg, various mechanical and electronic adjustments provide improved swing phase control. As a result, the user of the prosthesis has a more natural gait and can move the knee joint more easily.

 

The technical side

How exactly does the C-Leg work? The intelligent control function of the prosthesis adapts to the individual gait pattern of each user. The leg is operated by a microprocessor-controlled hydraulic unit that adjusts the system dynamically to any walking speed. At the same time, the controller ensures that the stance phase of the prosthesis is secure. The control mechanism is based on a complex system of sensors. These record the load on the knee joint every 0.02 seconds to accurately identify the phase of the gait cycle.
Two valves that are adjusted by maxon RE-max 13 motors modify the characteristics of the hydraulic system. Two motors are used in each C-Leg. The key features of these DC motors are their compact design and relatively high power output.
 

Life on two legs

“I can't remember when I last stumbled. It's great!” says Geno from the US (on the left in the picture), enthusiastically describing his life with the C-Leg. The success story of the C-Leg goes on and on. More and more people are adopting this intelligent prosthetic leg to regain their independence.

 

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of RoboticsTomorrow
maxon group

maxon group

maxon is a leading supplier of high-precision DC brush and brushless servo motors and drives. These motors range in size from 4 - 90 mm and are available up to 500 watts. We combine electric motors, gears and DC motor controls into high-precision, intelligent drive systems that can be custom-made to fit the specific needs of customer applications.

Other Articles

Me and the Machine
Paralyzed people can learn to walk again with the aid of electromechanical exoskeletons. However, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of engineering and hard training.
The 5 Key Points When Motorizing an AGV
Your AGVs cannot fail, and so the choice of their motorization is crucial. Here are 5 key points to bear in mind when motorizing an AGV.
Robots on the Set
Intelligent robotic cameras that automate live transmission are used on stages, racetracks, and playing fields, operate autonomously - and provide a perfect TV experience.
More about maxon group

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

OCTOPUZ Robot Programming Software

OCTOPUZ Robot Programming Software

Program and simulate ALL your robots with OCTOPUZ offline software. OCTOPUZ specializes in path sensitive robotic applications such as welding, fabrication, edge following (waterjet, deburring, laser cutting), material removal (2D & 3D machining), and pick & place. Easy to learn, it directly supports paths from your favorite CAM system, has a library of over 15 different types of robot brands, can cut path generation by over 50% and is fully customizable to your unique needs. Program and simulate multiple robots simultaneously in any configuration! Responsive technical assistance from OCTOPUZ before, during and after sale via training, support and cell development make OCTOPUZ the software of choice.