Arizona Patent of the Month – December 2023

Prosthetic technology has witnessed a revolutionary leap with the groundbreaking invention by Proteor USA, LLC (PROTEOR) – a control system that redefines the functionality of prosthetic ankles. This system, designed for moving a prosthetic device with an artificial foot, introduces a level of adaptability and control previously unseen in the field.

At the heart of this innovation is a sophisticated control system comprising multiple sensors strategically positioned within the prosthetic device. These sensors measure force, torque, and orientation, providing real-time data to a controller. A hydraulic actuator, linked to the artificial foot and shank link, is governed by a voice coil valve with unparalleled capabilities. This valve, connected to the hydraulic actuator, regulates the flow of hydraulic fluid, allowing for precise control of the prosthetic ankle’s movement.

One of the system’s key features is its ability to differentiate between weighted and un-weighted states. When un-weighted, the voice coil valve opens, enabling the artificial foot to pivot freely, adapting to varying terrains. Conversely, in the weighted state, the valve closes, securing the artificial foot to the shank link, facilitating a stable and functional posture.

The hydraulic actuator itself incorporates innovative elements such as a mechanical ball lock, providing an added layer of security and control. The design includes a flexure that optimally transmits forces while resisting side loads – a common challenge in prosthetic devices. This ensures durability and longevity, addressing issues prevalent in previous prosthetic ankles.

The compact housing of the control system, housing both the controller and battery, fits seamlessly within the anatomical envelope of a natural leg. This ensures not only advanced functionality but also a discreet and comfortable user experience.

The system’s versatility extends further with the incorporation of wireless connectivity. A user interface, accessible through smart devices, allows users to interact with and control their prosthetic ankle wirelessly. This groundbreaking development enables enhanced mobility and user convenience.

PROTEOR’s inventive control system for prosthetic ankles redefines the landscape of prosthetic technology. With its advanced sensors, responsive hydraulic actuator, and intelligent control mechanisms, this innovation marks a significant leap towards providing amputees with a prosthetic device that offers unparalleled adaptability, control, and comfort in their daily lives.

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