Past REU Participants & Project Pages

2006 REU Porjects
2006 REU Projects
2006 Participant: Ramsey Dial
Project Title: Energy Storing Ankle-Foot Orthosis for Cerebral Palsy

Faculty Advisor:Dr. Paul Allaire, Dr. Brad Bennett, Shawn Russell
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder that weakens the brain. It can affect people by how they do everyday movements such as talking, walking, and eating. The brain is the command center of the whole body. Many of the muscle in the body function because the brains tells it to function. The brace is an idea of a solution for the gait of CP patients. Gait is the normal walking or running. Due to the tightness of the muscles, CP patients tend to walk on their toes and also use more energy than normal patients. The Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) helps store energy for CP patients to use later in their gait. During normal gait, heel-off is at 40% stance phase and toe-off is at 60% stance phase.
The brace was calculated at nearly 50% efficiency doing a self test. There are many possible reasons why it did not put out all of the energy it stored. Some of the energy may have been put into the ankle rotation mechanism to help turn the ankles. Another reason why it didnít put out all of the energy is because of the friction of the springs and the medial side does not release at the same time as the lateral side of the brace.
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