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Tensegrity prosthetic foot promises to make walking easier


It may not boast built-in Bluetooth or an array of sensors and motors, but inventor Jerome Rifkin says his so-called Tensegrity prosthetic foot can nonetheless give amputees a more natural gait and make it easier for them to walk across difficult terrain. That's apparently possible thanks to a unique but simple mid-foot joint, which takes the place of the ankle joint more commonly found in prosthetic feet and creates a flexible arch in the middle of the foot. A range of springs and tensioned cables are used to control it and a second joint at the toe, which simply respond to the natural pressure of walking and adapt to uneven terrain. As you can see for yourself in the video of the most recent prototype after the break, that setup appears to work remarkably well, and Rifkin has even thankfully managed to tone down some of the squeaking noise that plagued earlier prototypes.

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