InnoTecUK recently completed H-COP (Unravelling & addressing orthopaedics & prosthetics problems by human-centred design), a phase 1 project, co-funded by Innovate UK) aimed at addressing the unmet orthopaedics and prosthetics’ needs within the medical device sector.
Within the project, InnoTecUK explored a human-centred design approach for realising orthopaedic and prosthetic aids, with the vision of helping people with mobility problems improve their quality of life by providing them with advanced active assistive technologies.
The project’s focus was developing wearable orthoses for healthy elderly persons, applied at individual lower-body joints, to help perform specific mobility tasks. Our goal within this phase was to develop concept solutions that will allow elderly persons to stay independent, with good quality of life, by being able to live actively in their own homes for as long as possible.
The following orthoses were investigated as value-added propositions:
Knee exoskeleton: An active mechanism to assist in performing sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit transfers
Hip exoskeleton: A passive mechanism to assist in maintaining good stride-length during straight walking
Ankle exoskeleton: A passive mechanism to assist with sufficient toe-off power during straight walking
We are now working on ways to develop and build on these ideas to produce working orthosis prototypes.
As part of the project, 3D-printed scaled models of the orthosis design were produced by the project subcontractor (BIC) and InnoTecUK.
Link to video: H-COP Knee Orthoses 3D Printing Video