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An energy-recycling artificial foot redirects energy that is usually wasted between steps to make walking easier for amputees. The foot’s creators, Kuo and Steve Collins, engineered a way to put the 23% of walking energy wasted with a standard prosthesis to work increasing the push-off power of the ankle. A microcontroller properly times and routes the captured energy to the prosthetic foot system to make the increased push-off power possible.
The Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center is currently testing the artificial foot and an Ann Arbor company is considering a variation of the energy-recycling prosthetics design for commercial production.