Over in the UK the integrated limb Linx has made the finals of the prestigious MacRobert Award, which recognises excellence in British engineering.
“Trying to mimic exactly how a human limb behaves in all circumstances is almost mission impossible, yet Blatchford has achieved a huge leap forward in making the knee and ankle joints work together as an integrated system,” said MacRobert Award judge, Dr Frances Saunders.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a therapeutic treatment technique that has been used by therapists for both the adult and paediatric population. It refers to the stimulation of muscle through electrodes placed on the skin over the target muscle. An electrical current is then used to stimulate the muscle to contract. The advantage of such a technique is that it can be utilised even if there are problems with selective motor control or voluntary activation. Devices such as the Walk Aide® utilise this technology to address issues with foot clearance during gait.
A new trial's underway, at Novita Children's services in Adelaide, of an electronic device aimed at helping people walk and live with Cerebral Palsy. If successful, researchers hope it will secure federal government funding and become available to thousands of people