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What is the BiOM?
The BiOM is a true bionic lower-leg system that is made of reflexive powered plantar flexion to simulate true action of the human ankle, the Achilles tendon and one’s calf muscles by propelling the amputee upwards and forwards during each walking step. Unlike passive carbon-fiber prosthetic feet that return only fifty percent of the energy of a true biological limb, the reflexive action in the BiOM actually performs above-and-beyond work with every step. It returns 100 percent of the energy of a biological limb while accommodating for real time terrain changes, which normalizes an individual’s gait dynamics.
Please tell me How the BiOM by iWalk Actually Works
The BiOM is made to sense your ankle’s position and forces in real-time and reacts seamlessly to your walking environment. Translating approximately 250 data points per step though algorithms and minute circuit boards, the system tells the actuator to retract or extend as needed. When it retracts, it pulls the series spring up, similar to the loading of a catapult. When you reach the end of your step, the actuator retracts further and the spring releases stored energy. This is the powered plantar flexion that emulates the action of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon that allows you to rise to your toes or push off from the ground. Without this action, your foot remains motionless and unresponsive. If you happen to have been given a passive-elastic prosthetic foot at some time in the past, you have likely experienced how that can force your weight into your hip socket. You most likely compensate with your entire body to control this lack of propulsion and function of a typical prosthetic foot. Now, the BiOM actually works with you, complementing your natural walking motion.
The BiOM is the result of radical scientific development and innovation, and it’s the first biomimetic lower-leg system demonstrated to return an amputee to a normative gait — helping you to return to your previous quality of life.
How is this Different?
With the use of the BiOM by iWalk, functional outcomes are shown to be greatly improved. The BiOM provides amputees with:
- metabolically-economical gait that allows them to walk further, faster and with less effort over all terrains, which reduces muscle pain and fatigue
- powered plantar flexion of the trailing leg, reducing leading leg impact forces and corresponding knee, hip and back pain often associated with high impact forces you can experience with some other prosthetic products
- rapid and real time accommodation for all terrain types that not only will improve biomechanics and balance, it will also reduce the risk of falling
- the ability to achieve individual mobility goals, enabling amputees to improve their overall quality of life and return to an active lifestyle.
Achieving Biomimetic Function by Integrating Five Technologies
- near natural function customized for each individual provides intrinsic biomimetic control firmware
- a modular lithium polymer battery provides a quick charging, long lasting, safe power source
- real time terrain adaptation provides six degrees of inertial sensing
- integral force, torque, angle sensing enables a proportional and fluid response