Author Topic: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments  (Read 11656 times)

Offline Genki_rockets

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Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« on: November 29, 2010, 08:30:44 PM »
So the latest rage in microprocessor knee is the Genium from Otto Bock.  This new knee is essentially an upgrade of C-leg with one major difference.  $200 gyroscope (inertial sensor) that measures the movement of the knee has been added.  The result?   A prosthetic knee that allows users to walk up stairs step over step, walk backwards, walk over obstacle & all at the same time, much more stable than any other knee.

Since there isn't any competition around, (not even the power knee2 comes close) Otto Bock decided to jack up the price and decided to sell Genium for $40,000 or higher. 

I tried the Orion from Endolite other day.  Truly amazing.  No C-leg user will have any problem switching over to Orion as it walks almost as same as C-leg.  Other than the fact that the knee gives out its resistance completely all of sudden without any warning when sitting down, it's almost good as the old C-leg.  It has exposed wire & exposed circuits, not to mention that the whole thing looks like it was made by a cheap toy maker in China.  (Oops, I forgot to mention that it also has no function like free-swing mode or golf-mode.)  But performance wise, it's almost good as the C-leg. 

No, I am not amazed at how closely it functions like C-leg.  I am amazed that it took over a decade for Endolite to duplicate the C-leg.  It will probably take another decade before Endolite can work out its problems and make the Orion truly equivalent to C-leg. LOL

Hugh Herr's products

iwalk finally has realeased its powered ankle called PowerFoot BiOM.  This is the only ankle unit that allows BK to walk, kick, and run normally.  http://www.iwalkpro.com  The only other company that's even close to releasing a similar unit is College Park but don't hold your breath.  Their unit is at least another 5 years away.

Rheo2 is a prosthetic knee that has been vastly improved.  It's as good as C-leg.  It walks better uphill or downhill than the C-leg but on even ground walking, C-leg is still slightly better.  Also, rheo2 has no special mode like free-swing mode.

Victhom

The rumor has it that the developer of power knee is close to going belly up.  It’s power knee2 is lighter than the original version & its price has been halved but it’s performance has been surpassed by cheaper Genium already.  So when power knee2 is finally released some time next year, there won’t be any buyer wanting to buy this unit.  Basically, it’s DOA, dead on arrival.

And fianally, Plie2?  hahaha LOL  It’s waterproof and performs worse than any decent mechanical knee.  Yeah, my $1,500 mechanical knee is also waterproof.  Enough said.

If you think you don’t have enough time left in your life wating for all these wonderful gadgets to develop, think again.  Harvard just managed to reverse aging in mice, making the old mice young again. 

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-11/harvard-creates-mice-grow-younger-which-could-lead-human-anti-aging-treatments

If you are young enough & manage to stay around for another 30 years or so, you will live long enough to grow your leg back & more.


« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 08:33:27 PM by Genki_rockets »

Offline jmoore

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 07:20:07 PM »
hi Genki_rockets just wondering why you did not like the plie2 i have the i guess you say the update software pile just before the new one had a few problems with it mine whistle when you walk with the up date now does not do that but just wondering why you did not like the pile 2? love my c-leg hope to try the new soon as it comes out the va is telling me if i go to the va in seattle i might be able to get one
some days i like to quite and be normal for a bit

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 01:52:25 AM »
You can just look at the market share (basically 70% C-leg, 30% Rheo) and figure out that Plie is a horrible knee.

But seriously, Plie got its software from Rheo which uses magnetorheological fluid.  Plie is a hydraulic knee.  Rheo's magnetorheological fluid can be controlled like magnets.  Regular hydraulic fluid doesn't act like magnets.   Thus, rheo constantly adjusts based on feedback it receives via magnetorheological fluid.  This is very evident when you are walking uphill or downhill with rheo.  Yeah, Plie has same software, same sensor that gathers info 1000 times per second, blah, blah, blah, but what does Plie really do with the gathered info? 

Plie advocates say while Plie may not be the most stable knee, it is the lightest & fastest microprocessor knee.  And since Plie doesn't try to control the gait like rheo or C-leg, it's a better knee for AK amputees who are "more skilled" at walking.  Plie reps say things like "Well, Plie is like a sports car.  It's more difficult to use but once you become more skilled at using it, it will allow you to walk faster.""  "But first, you need to become a stronger walker."  "Really, C-leg is for newbies and you need to grow out of it."

Well, I have a suggestion.  If you are such a good/strong walker that you could care less about stability or gait control,  why even bother getting a microprocessor knee? LOL  Any decent mechanical knee will do what Plie does.

Again, don't take my word for it.  Just look at the market share.  ^^ 

Offline jmoore

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 09:19:42 AM »
i know what you mean about being skilled when i first got the knee i feel so many times when m yc- leg is on i do not fall unless i do something dumb like get tangle is wire and do feel it so i fall lol but i do you what you mean you have to always be thinking with that knee if you don't you fall thanks for your help
some days i like to quite and be normal for a bit

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 04:33:49 PM »
hahaha

i done those stupid things like getting tangled up with wires at construction site.  You do feel stupid trying to move forward not realizing your leg is tied up.  hahaha 

but it's awfully hard to fall with C-leg.  I feel like C-leg gives you more than a second to recover from your stumble.  I have a suspicion that Rheo may give you even more time to strighten yourself up & not fall.  As I get older and my reflex slows down, I would definately go with a knee that gives me the maximum recovery time.

But if you are a plie user, I guess you never miss a step or stumble so that wouldn't be a concern, right? LOL
 

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 05:51:13 PM »
i've heard that the Gyroscope in the genium can lock you in a flexed position if required i.e. the knee can be flexed and the prosthesis will lock so you can stand solely ontheprosthetic leg with it bent!
Looks an impressive piece of kit.

There are definitely more developments on the way in terms of Microprocessor technology....

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 01:52:19 AM »
Is the Orion the same as the smart IP?

And also, any chance that the genium will be covered by insurance?

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 05:32:50 AM »
Orion/smart IP is a microprocessor knee from Endolite.  Privately, even Endolite rep would not recommend that knee to you.  One of the members on this forum works for Endolite.  You can privately ask him about it.

One of my friends said "it's a piece of shxx" but I didn't think it was that bad.  It's almost good as the old C-leg that came out about 15 yrs. ago.  It seems that vast majority of AK amputees who tried it do not like the knee for some reason.

My recommendation is that you try as many different knees as possible.  I came acorss vets sporting Genium knees two weeks ago at Walter Reed but I didn't think Genium is currently availbable for general public in the U.S. market.   

Whether it's covered or not, you should check with your insurance company.   Some policies cover only upto $2,500.00 life time. 

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 10:46:55 PM »
I have some comments and questions for Genki_rockets regarding your post about microprocessor knees.  Your postings include several inaccurate statements and I feel it’s Important to let others know the facts.

Have you used all of the knees you comment about?  If you have, which version of each knee did you test and how long did you try them? Also my question would be who did the alignment, because if the alignment is not right as the knee manufacturers suggest, the knee may not operate as it is designed.  I would also question who did the programming because that is also key to the microprocessor knees.  Unless you tried them for a significant amount of time how could you make a judgment by just walking a little bit in someone’s office? 

I currently use bilateral Plié 2.0 knees and have used the C-Leg and the Rheo. I am very happy with the Plie. It definitely does not have the same software, hardware or sensors as the Rheo knee.  It’s a completely different system.  The RHEO uses a magnetic based fluid, while the Plié is a hydraulic system controlled by the microprocessor.  Some of the original developers of the Rheo also created the Plie to make a better knee and to address many of the negatives of the Rheo knee.  The Plié 2 reacts very quickly to gait changes and responds within 10 milliseconds, I believe it is the fastest control cycle time of any MPC knee.  This gives me the ability to stay in stance phase longer if I need to, and changes speeds very smoothly to even tiny steps, all of this helps me smooth out my gait and reduces the amount of energy I use.

The Plié 2 is not more difficult to walk with than any other knees,  I actually find it easier and it takes less effort.  I had the original and the new Plie 2.0 with advanced stumble recovery, it is great when you need it, hopefully you won’t,  but I have been pleasantly surprised when it has kicked in.

Your question what does “Plié do with the data”?  It is used for advanced stumble recovery capabilities. “The data is gathered to provide input to an advanced algorithm utilized by the microprocessors to control stance, swing and stumble recovery parameters.  These are then customized for each user’s unique gait patterns, providing confidence that stance resistance will be there over a broad spectrum of activities” (I borrowed this from information that is readily available).  I can tell you that my settings are very different from other amputees on the Plié.  I have seen the numbers.

The Plié 2 is also, low profile and ultra lightweight which is helped by the hydraulic cylinder being inverted, bringing its center of gravity closer to the knee.  To me, when it is on, it feels much lighter than the other knees.

I am not sure when you refer to “Plié advocates saying it is not the most stable or more difficult to use” which version you are referring to,  because it does not sound like the Plie 2.  Any knee that is not aligned correctly will be unstable.  And I can speak from personal experience that neither one of those statements are correct.  In fact I find the Plie much easier to use, with its rechargeable batteries, small portable charger and it comes with a car charger which can come in handy, or just carrying extra batteries. It is very awkward if your battery dies at the airport and you have to plug yourself into an outlet, that is if you can find one not being used by a mobile device or game.

To any amputees that are reading this please do not pay attention to this statement that was made in this forum ” If you are such a good/strong walker that you could care less about stability or gait control, why even bother getting a microprocessor knee? LOL Any decent mechanical knee will do what Plie does”

I can speak from first hand experience, (once having a strictly mechanical knee, very old school) I would never suggest a mechanical knee to any one over an MPC knee, unless there was a specific task they had in mind to do with it.  It is very important to be concerned about your gait because it will affect your body over the long term and may cause significant damage to your body if you walk incorrectly.  As far as stumble recovery goes, you never know when it can save you from a fall that could be deadly or cause you to break a bone, I will say, I never thought I would like or want stumble recovery, but I have to admit it has kicked in exactly when I needed it.  I am very active, play golf etc. and love the Plie 2, on the other hand I know other people who love it just because it makes walking so much easier so you don’t have to be an athlete for it to be the right knee for you. and the fact the Plie is water resistant is a great advantage,  compared to a knee that I have to get undercover if there is a chance of rain or if I want to move my sprinklers. 

I also noticed that when they created the Plié 2 they (Freedom) corrected anything I felt was wrong or could be improved from the Plié 1, they listened to their customers.  It is nice to have a company that actually cares about those of us who use the product, not just the ones who sell it.

I have tried most of the knees you have bashed and depending on each individual’s situation the needs may vary.  It is not fair as a forum, that is suppose to help amputees, you seem to be providing feedback that is only negative and nothing that  helps amputees to understand the products (pros and cons) and real life experience.   I can assure you the Plié 2, from my perspective is awesome and is definitely worth a try.  I have many years of experience being an amputee and gone through many of the different products.  If an amputee is interested in any of the knees, I suggest you look them up on the internet on the manufactures page and then talk to your prosthetist, who can then arrange with their rep see if the knee (whichever you are interested in) can be tried for a short period of time before you make a decision.

I would hope this forum is a means of sharing experiences and not a manufacturing bashing forum.  Thanks for reading.

Offline Oneblueleg

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 03:57:57 AM »
Nice to see something so positive and informing Dolphin.
Don't worry too much about Genki-rockets, what he says is so full of inaccuracies no one takes it seriously I'm sure  ;)
Sadly, I realise there may be people who do, but they will soon find out by talking to anyone that knows even the smallest amount about prosthetics how misguided he/she is.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Offline Ronan

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Re: Updates on microprocessor prosthetics & other developments
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 06:53:03 PM »
..... I would never suggest a mechanical knee to any one over an MPC knee, unless there was a specific task they had in mind to do with it......

+1, I would never want to go back to a mechanical knee after using my C-Leg for over 2yrs. I started with a 4-bar and worked my way up. Bottom line, I highly doubt they will ever duplicated the real thing for us but for safety I have never had a better knee than my C-Leg.   I'm not saying its better than all other MP knees, I haven't tried any others.
Thanks! 
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