Over the decades, lower leg prosthetics have advanced in light years from something as simple as the peg leg. Today’s lower leg prosthetics give increased movement and comfort. While the benefits far outnumber any drawbacks, there are still drawbacks. With a lower leg prosthetic, the walking motion is altered because different muscles are being used. Not only in the quad and hamstring muscles, but also the core muscles to maintain balance. This can lead to muscle fatigue and a slower walking pace. Through the help of federal funding to help find a better alternative for wounded soldiers, iWalk developed the BiOM. A robotic lower leg prosthetic that mimics calf muscle movement. Creating a more natural walking motion for its user.
The BiOM consists of prosthetic foot and ankle along with optional extensions. A computer and motor work with the ankle to make the foot push off like a human foot would. The BiOM adjusts instantly to the user’s walking pace and terrain. Users have reported an increased ease in walking, energy, and quality of life.
A Step Up
Watching the video below by ieee Spectrum, you can see that the walking motion looks very natural. Users can walk on flat surfaces, climb stairs, walk on gravel, and more. iWalk’s Facebook page has pictures of users playing golf, running up hills, rock climbing, and cycling.
This technology is pretty cool and has the possibility to increase independence and quality of life. If you’re interested in possibly trying out the BiOM, visit this link to find iWalk certified bionics center near you. For more information on iWalk visit www.iWalkPro.com or their Facebook page.