Previous studies have been conducted to develop a biomechanical model for a human’s lower limb. Amongst them, there have been several studies trying to quantify the kinetics and kinematics of lower-limb amputees through motion analysis [5, 10, 11]. Currently, there are various designs for lower-limb prosthetic feet such as the Solid Ankle Cushion Heel (SACH) from Otto Bock (Minneapolis) or the Flex Foot from Ossur (California). The latter is a prosthetic foot that allows for flexibility while walking and running. Special interest has been placed in recording the capabilities of these energy-storing prosthetic feet. This has been done through the creation of biomechanical models with motion analysis. In these previous studies the foot has been modeled as a single rigid-body segment, creating difficulties when trying to calculate the power dissipated by the foot [5, 20, 21]. This project studies prosthetic feet with energy-storing capabilities. The purpose is to develop an effective way of calculating power by using a biomechanical model. This was accomplished by collecting biomechanical data using an eight camera VICON (Colorado) motion analysis system including two AMTI (BP-400600, Massachusetts) force plates. The marker set that was used, models the foot using several segments, hence mimicking the motion the foot undergoes and potentially leading to greater accuracy. By developing this new marker set, it will be possible to combine the kinematic and kinetic profile gathered from it with previous studies that determined metabolic information. This information will allow for the better quantification and comparison of the energy storage and return (ES AR) feet and perhaps the development of new designs.

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