Biology and engineering have been combined to create the world’s first prosthetic foot with propulsion powered from a maxon DC motor.
Our calf muscles provide the essential power, control and stability for walking. Those who’ve had below the knee amputation tire very quickly walking on a prosthetic foot. Step in Hugh Herr, Professor at MIT Boston who developed The Empower bionic prosthetic foot along with the Ottobock Group, a world-leading supplier of prostheses. Hugh himself is a double transtibial amputee resulting from a mountaineering accident. Hugh and his team drew inspiration from nature to create The Empower combining both biology and engineering together.
The Empower is a third generation newly developed bionic foot. A research team spent 16 months to make walking feel more natural by using a carbon spring which transfers energy directly to the foot. A powerful maxon DC motor refines the energy pulse delivered by the spring and provides the missing power of a calf muscle, step by step with each toe push-off. Several sensors “tell” the prostheses which phase of movement the foot is in, at any given time, so that it can perform the corresponding action. This allows for short sprints, which were previously deemed impossible, as well as walking on uneven ground and up inclines. What’s more, the greater the load on the prostheses, the greater its energy output becomes, just like a natural foot. The DC motor providing the propulsion is maxon’s EC-4pole 30. Selected for its powerhouse features and high output per unit of volume and weight it provides an ideal ratio between size, weight and power – a key factor in developing prosthetics.
For more information on prostheses and robot assisted rehabilitation please contact maxon motor Australia tel.+ 61 2 9457 7477.
Paul is a robotically simulated training model of a 27 week old preemie baby. Created by an Austrian paediatrician to help train medical practitioners, maxon motors replicate the breathing movements of the baby.
Meet Paul. The smallest and most advanced high-end patient simulator in the world. Paul is a 27 week old preemie. He is 35cm long and weighs 1kg. He breathes on his own with a consistent heartbeat. His chest gently moves up and down, veins and arteries are visible under his thin skin. Paul needs artificial respiration and will sometimes turn blue.
Born to train medical staff in emergency situations that occur every day in neonatal intensive care units, the creator of Paul is Jens-Christian Schwindt, an ex-paediatrician in the Division of Neonatology of the Vienna General Hospital. In 2015 Schwindt started his company SIMCharacters, that arose from a need where “Critical situations in preterm care have to be trained time and time again, under as realistic conditions as possible, to ensure that everything goes equally smoothly in a real crisis” says Schwindt. With the ability to evoke emotions and cry, the baby looks exceptionally lifelike and is full of high-technology on the inside. His skull hosts a Linux system, he is charged cordlessly by induction using a customary charging pad. Paul can be operated for up to two hours. When he has difficulty breathing or the oxygen saturation drops, his head turns blue. Sophisticated hardware and software fit into a silicone skin.
maxon DC motors, gearheads and sensors ensure that the thorax and abdomen move in accordance with the programmed test scenarios. Three DCX 12mm motors with gearhead and sensors are used – two for Paul’s thorax and one for the abdomen. Another maxon DCX 6mm motor moves a valve in the lung of the simulator, with a total of 40 motors installed. The motors were selected for their torque, density and quiet running. The robust design and the ironless maxon rotor make these motors a perfect fit for this unique application. Maxon’s DCX motors are brushed and available in sizes from Ø 6 – 35 mm. They can be easily configured online and customer can select from graphite and precious metal brushes, sintered and ball bearings, and many other components.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Throughout 2016 maxon invested significantly in expanding its facilities, bringing a large number of new technologies & innovations to market and expanded on their market leading position.
Sachseln/Switzerland – The maxon motor group further increased its revenues in 2016. Compared with the previous year, revenues grew by 5% to a new record level of CHF 422.5 million (from CHF 402.5 million in the previous year). The number of employees rose to 2,500 and for the first time in company history, maxon employs more people abroad than in Switzerland. The highest revenues were achieved in medical technology (43% market share), followed by industrial automation & robotics (26%) and aerospace industries (6.5%). Investment in R&D rose to CHF 28.5 million in 2016 (up from 27.1 million).
Maxon is increasingly becoming a specialist in mechatronics and systems, launching the first fully sterilisable drive system this year. Drive combination units consisting of brushless DC motor, gearhead and sensor are designed to withstand 1000 autoclave cycles. Maxon’s new DC motor controllers also stand up to extreme ambient conditions. The electronics are protected against contaminants and corrosion by a polymer coating. In addition, the device is highly resistant against vibrations and shocks.
For the e-bike market, maxon motor developed a new S-Peledec motor with a 500 Wh battery and intuitive operation for urban applications. The bike reaches speeds of up to 45 km/h and the device stands out because it can convert any regular bicycle into an e-bike. maxon is also active in the field of autonomous delivery robots. This is a market where the energy-efficient and lightweight drive systems by maxon are in particularly high demand.
For more information on DC motors and accessories please contact maxon motor Australia tel +61 2 9457 7477.