Prosthetic sockets are static interfaces for dynamic residual limbs. As the user’s activity level increases, the volume of the residual limb can decrease by up to 11% and increase by as much as 7% after activity. Currently, volume fluctuation is addressed by adding/removing prosthetic socks to change the profile of the residual limb. However, this is impractical and time consuming. These painful/functional issues demand a prosthetic socket with an adjustable interface that can adapt to the user’s needs. This paper presents a prototype design for a dynamic soft robotic interface which addresses this need. The actuators are adjustable depending on the user’s activity level, and their structure provides targeted compression to the soft tissue which helps to limit movement of the bone relative to the socket. Testing of the prototype demonstrated promising potential for the design with further refinement. Work on embedded sensing and intelligent feedback control should be continued in future research in order to create a viable consumer product which can improve a lower limb amputee’s quality of life.
Design, Characterization, and Evaluation of a Dynamic Soft Robotic Prosthetic Socket Interface
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Holmes, B, & Zhang, W. "Design, Characterization, and Evaluation of a Dynamic Soft Robotic Prosthetic Socket Interface." Proceedings of the 2019 Design of Medical Devices Conference. 2019 Design of Medical Devices Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. April 15–18, 2019. V001T09A007. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DMD2019-3232
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