iWalk is So Much More than Just a Prosthetic Foot

4825herr1.jpg A group of MIT and Brown researchers and engineers have debuted a prosthetic foot that propels the user forward using "tendon-like springs and an electric motor," meaning it is even more like the real thing than traditional prostheses. Professor Hugh Herr, head of biomechatronics at MIT's Media Lab, and a double amputee himself, tested the device, describing it as "wild - like you're on one of those moving walkways in the airport."The iWalk uses the energy from the wearer's forward motion, stores it in the power-assisted spring and then releases it as the foot pushes off, the battery-powered motor providing additional help. According to Prof Herr, the iWalk has "three times the power of a conventional prosthesis to propel you forward, and... provides amputees with a truly humanlike gait." [iWalk via MedGadget]