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Design, Characterization, and Evaluation of a Dynamic Soft Robotic Prosthetic Socket Interface

Description

Prosthetic sockets are a static interface for dynamic residual limbs. As the user's activity level increases, the volume of the residual limb decreases by up to 11% and increases by as much as 7% after activity. Currently, volume fluctuation is

Prosthetic sockets are a static interface for dynamic residual limbs. As the user's activity level increases, the volume of the residual limb decreases by up to 11% and increases 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 time consuming. These painful/functional issues demand a prosthetic socket with an adjustable interface that can adapt to the user's needs. This thesis 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. The engineering process was used to create this design by defining system level requirements, exploring the design space, selecting a design, and then using testing/analysis to optimize that design. The final design for the soft robotic interface meets the applicable requirements, while other requirements for the electronics/controls will be completed as future work. Testing of the prototype demonstrated promising potential for the design with further refinement. Work on this project should be continued in future research/thesis projects in order to create a viable consumer product which can improve lower limb amputee's quality of life.

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Date Created
2018-05