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Speciknee: An Engineering Software Tool for Design of Simple Four-Bar Prosthesis Joints for Above-Knee Amputees

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas J. Thompson

Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH

Erkai Watson

Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Paper No. DETC2014-34015, pp. V05BT08A085; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5B: 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4637-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper presents the vector analysis used to develop an educational computer design tool which could enable prosthetists and mechanical designers to tailor the motion of low-cost, four-bar prosthetic knees to the sizes and needs of individual amputees. In designing a prosthetic knee joint, it is important to control the position of the lower leg in three angles of flexion and to control its center of rotation in the standing position. In 2010 [1] this problem was analyzed using vector methods, and an algorithm was written which produced curves displaying pivot locations which solve the problem exactly. Since then, a software tool called Speciknee has been developed by building on the core vector computational method and adding a user-friendly operator interface through which a designer could input individual patient needs, select pivot points along the set of curves where prosthetic joint pivots could be placed, and animate the mechanism.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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