A new generation of devices to help people with joint disorders walk with ease and comfort are becoming a reality thanks to the work of GAIT, which is creating the world’s first ‘intelligent’ mechanical devices to support knee and ankle joints.
Due to end in August next year, the 36-month IST programme project is developing the most advanced leg supports designed to date, combining biomechanics with information technologies to produce more comfortable and effective devices that could benefit millions of people across Europe.
“The orthoses we are working with are apparatus that are attached to the leg to support the knees and ankles of people who have joint dysfunctions or lack muscle strength,” explains project coordinator José Luis Pons at the Instituto de Automática Industrial (IAI) in Spain. “Traditionally they [orthoses] are purely mechanical devices that provide rigidity to the leg when a patient is standing and allow it to flex when they are walking.”
Tara Morris | alfa
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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