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This light, durable prosthetic of the future, based largely on the SPARKy leg developed by researchers at Arizona State, will be closer than ever to a human limb and contains elements that will someday enhance athletic prostheses
1 THIGH HIGH
Above-the-knee amputees need more engineered aid than their below-the-knee counterparts, so they often compete in a different Paralympic class.
Prosthetic limbs that connect directly to the bone—replacing the current socket-and-liner standard—could be the wave of the future for Paralympic athletes.
3 MATERIAL DIFFERENCE
A forward shaft simulates the lower leg, and posterior shafts provide some stability. Carbon composites are lighter than intact limbs and can return up to 93% of energy stored with each stride.
4 RATE OF RETURN
A flexible blade works with motorized springs in the ankle, though the hips must generate much more energy than those of able-bodied athletes.