LEG / Leg Prosthesis Race

SoftFoot Pro


About the Team

The SoftFoot Pro has been developed through the joint efforts of the Soft Robotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation Lab at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the Research Center "E. Piaggio" at the University of Pisa. More broadly, we develop assistive and rehabilitation devices, as well as soft robotics upper and lower limb prostheses.

As the SoftFoot Pro team, we are a multidisciplinary group, including mechatronics, robotics, and biomedical engineers, working hard to improve the lives of people with lower-limb loss. Since 2015, we have been dedicated to developing the SoftFoot, a passive, adaptive, and anthropomorphic foot with enhanced capabilities to adapt to all terrains. Initially tested on a biped robot, the prototype for prosthetic application was first tested in 2018. Encouraged by the promising results and positive feedback from the first prosthetic users, we have continued to optimise its design. We look forward to competing in the CYBATHLON 2024 for the first time with our prosthetic foot and seeing our pilot, Flavio, succeed!

About the Pilot

Flavio is enthusiastic, sporty, and passionate about technology, motorbikes, and Marvel heroes! Following a transfemoral amputation in 2015 due to a motorbike accident, he has continually pushed his limits to fully reintegrate into his family, professional, and social life. Now retired, he enjoys hobbies such as gardening, DIY furniture restoration, making large puzzles, and organising neighbourhood summer festivals. He also keeps fit using his treadmill!

From the first testing session, Flavio has greatly appreciated the SoftFoot's adaptability on all terrains, and the stability it offers when standing and walking on both level ground and slopes. He loves how the prosthetic sole changes shape according to the ground and tasks, making it feel like his natural foot. Flavio is excited to compete in the CYBATHLON and eagerly looks forward to it!

About the Device

We will compete in the next CYBATHLON edition – Leg Prosthesis Race with our SoftFoot Pro, which is unique among commercial prostheses due to its novel design. This fully passive anthropomorphic prosthetic foot features an intrinsically adaptive design to cope with uneven ground, improving the user's stability. Its flexible sole changes shape to adapt to ground profiles, making obstacle negotiation easier. Benefits for users include a relieved mental burden when stepping on obstacles, reduced compensatory strategies in the prosthetic limb and especially the sound limb, and improved gait symmetry, resulting in a reduced risk of long-term disorders in the sound limb. Our next step is to integrate an active ankle joint for greater versatility on different slopes and at varying walking speeds.



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