How Springs Are At the Forefront of Modern Innovation

17/03/2014
At European Springs, we are always very proud to see just how important springs actually are in the very latest modern innovations. According to Eureka Magazine, disabled persons are having their lives transformed by sophisticated new prosthetics; and these new devices would be impossible without springs.

These prosthetic body parts are known as 'biomechatronic', and are being developed by Hugh Herr to help amputees overcome their limitations. Herr is himself a double amputee, and his own story is especially remarkable due to the fact that he used his own prostheses to regain his independence. So successful has this feat of engineering been that Herr is now capable of climbing mountains, leading him to claim that the label of 'disabled' is entirely at odds with his capabilities.

Herr's custom prosthetics are a departure from the relatively 'primitive' technology that is often used, as his artificial body parts are both 'intelligent' and responsive. A key component within this extraordinary invention is actually a torsion spring. Located in the heel strike, this spring is computer controlled, and the impact caused by either walking or running directly affects the tension of this spring. In this sense, it serves a function rather like that of an artificial Achilles tendon, and the system is also fundamental when allowing the prosthetic to cope with divergences in both terrain and speed.

These prosthetic innovations are branded by Herr as the first bionic limbs to not be dependent upon human-power, with the exchange of information actually being a two way process instead. Far from resting on his laurels though, Hugh Herr is keen to continue to push the boundaries of his field ever further forward, and he is already looking forward to the 'huge amount' of future developments that will no doubt arise in the coming years.

Herr's long term vision is a world where disability can be totally overcome by virtue of advanced technology, and, even if such a world may seem like a fallacy to some, one cannot deny that modern advances are enabling a plethora of remarkable avenues to be pursued. Here at European Springs, we are privileged to be a small part of this future, as even the most sophisticated inventions still rely upon the quality of their individual components.

Just as Hugh Kerr's new prosthetics would not function without the small torsion springs in their design, so many other mechanisms depend upon different types of springs to work correctly. Because of the ubiquity of springs in technology, our products see use in a huge range of industries, and we cannot wait to see what new directions the field of spring technology takes over the coming years. For more information about any of our products and services, please contact us now.

European Springs

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