Ottobock launches its most lifelike computer controlled prosthetic foot

ottobock Meridium

The Meridium foot increases safety and allows the user to enjoy a more natural pattern of movement

A new computer controlled foot has been launched in the UK to help amputees regain their independence and increase their mobility. The Meridium foot, from prosthetic experts Ottobock, is the most lifelike computer controlled foot launched by the company. The intelligent built-in microprocessor and sensors allow the foot to control all aspects of the walking cycle.

The Meridium prosthetic foot is a quantum leap in technology that successfully combines adaptability and safety in a single product. It closely matches the anatomy of the human foot and it features an impressive range of advantages.

With every step, the Meridium adjusts itself in real time according to walking speed, step length and walking surface – regardless of whether it’s uneven, or if it’s a slope. The prosthetic foot also supports highly complex movement patterns such as walking down stairs with full-surface contact, and walking backwards. This is made possible by the foot’s unique four-axle design and the complete real-time control of the hydraulics. Based on nature as a model, the Meridium is moveable in both the ankle area and in the midfoot and toe region.

Real-time control

In order to achieve this, sensors continually record movements, position and surface gradient. An integrated microprocessor analyses the situation in real time in order to control the hydraulics. As a result, the Meridium can respond to movements, change in walking speeds and ground conditions within milliseconds so the foot adapts to the situation from the very first step.

As a perfect everyday foot, it adjusts itself to different situations in real time, whether you’re shopping, walking, standing or sitting. The hydraulic resistance is immediately adjusted at heel contact for a noticeably soft impact. Thanks to added mobility in the ankle joint, the user maintains longer full-surface ground contact. The movable toe plate also enables pressure distribution across a greater surface in the forefoot area. When the foot leaves the ground during walking, it remains in the raised position to achieve additional ground clearance while walking. The result is enhanced safety which reduces the risk of falling and tripping.

Additional interesting features include the fully automatic heel height adaptation from 0 to 5 cm as well as the relief function. Here the foot automatically lowers itself to the floor as the user sits down. In addition to establishing a natural posture, this also reduces strain in the leg and improves wearer comfort on the residual limb. Many of the Meridium’s functions can be set by the user themselves using the remote control or Android app.

The Meridium foot is ideally suited to the Genium computer controlled knee, providing a state of the art solution for trans-femoral amputees. For more information on Ottobock’s range of innovative solutions that restore mobility please visit www.ottobock.co.uk or follow @ottobockuk.

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