Leg Prosthesis Shape-Change Socket

Team: SIERRA21

Program: Mechanical Engineering

Our project is sponsored by Sierra Nevada Corporation, a security contractor in the aerospace industry that has experts in manufacturing. People with limb amputations have to wear sockets that connect their residual limb to a prosthetic. This socket can not emulate the various load transferring tissues in a real limb. Particularly the rigidity of the socket means amputees often feel sore after prolonged use. Our project attempts to use jamming materials to allow for a shape-changing socket. Jamming materials are materials filled with fine particles that are deformable when at atmospheric conditions, but become rigid under a vacuum. Our team made various prototypes attempting to make and incorporate these jamming materials into a socket to see if they can alleviate some of the discomfort for real users.

Sierra Nevada Corporation
Cheryl Perich
Todd Sleemen

Team Members

Our final socket is shown, as well as the tubing, valve, and pump required to use the socket.

This video describes the background of the project from a real user, as well as the various ways the we have attempted to make the socket. Our final prototype is shown along with some results from initial testing. A future user also describes what excites him about our socket.