I thought I'd share a few more notes I took at the very beginning of the second semester, concerning prosthetics. This was back when Daniel and I were still learning about prosthetics and needed to decide what our arm and leg should be able to do. Here's a little of what we learned:
1. There are 4 main types of limb prosthetics (although prosthesis in general also includes things like  hearing aids, retainers, dentures, and artificial eyes)
Transtibial-- Below the knee
Transfemoral-- Above the knee
Transradial-- Below the elbow
Transhumeral-- Above the elbow
Our prototypes are transfemoral and transhumeral, by the way, but we plan on creating versions of all four before the year is out. 
2. The design considerations that we needed to think about for our prototypes were listed right on the website:
Performance
  • Energy storage and return-- storage of energy acquired through ground contact and the utilization of that energy for propulsion.
  • Energy absorption-- minimizing the effect of high impact of the muscoskeletal system
  • Ground compliance-- stability independent of terrain type or angle
  • Rotation-- ease of changing direction
  • Weight-- maximizing comfort, balance, speed
  • Suspension-- how the socket will join and fit to the limb

Cosmetics
Cost-- turns out a transradial or transtibial prosthetic usually costs $6,000-8,000 and a transfemoral or transhumeral prosthetic is $10,000-15,000. Yikes. 
Ease of Use
Size Availability


Daniel and I were shocked at how much detail has to go in the prosthetics to make them safe and comfortable for people, and vowed to keep it all in mind while we built our prototypes. 

 


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