Raising the Bar for Prosthetics
2013 R&D 100 Winner
Orthocare Innovations has introduced a new technology that is intended to enhance limb control for those who rely on prosthetic ankles and feet. The Magellan MFA (Magellan Microprocessor Foot Ankle System) is a computer-controlled foot-ankle prosthesis capable of adapting to a user’s activities through a 38-degree range of motion. It is intelligently adjusted by manipulation of a mesofluidic hydraulic system, in which the ankle block is supported anteriorly and posteriorly by a pair of antagonistic pistons riding within vertically oriented parallel cylinders on either side of the joint axis. The base of each piston rolls on a hardened steel cam machined into the top of the foot structure. An electric valve controls motion; a unique impedance control system utilizes the patient’s own gait dynamics to both inform the control algorithm and to drive the system. A microprocessor monitors the three-degree-of-freedom Europa ankle torque sensor and a magnetic position encoder, and, based on propriety algorithms embedded in the firmware, determines a required change in position to further optimize gait. The user can remotely control and monitor the system using a smartphone.
Computer-controlled foot-ankle prosthesis
The Magellan MFA (Magellan Microprocessor Foot Ankle System) Development Team from Orthocare Innovations
David Boone, Principal Developer