Bryce Dyer in the news
29 August 2012
Associated Press writer Maria Cheng recently reported on the future advances in prosthetics, with the bold statement that, “Paralympians will soon be outperforming their able-bodied counterparts.”
At the minute, carbon fibre blade-style prosthetics mean that Paralympians can’t generate the same amount of power from their legs as able-bodied runners; as such runners are powered by their hamstrings or hip flexor muscles. However, developments in areas such as powered knees and ankle joints could help close the gap as technology continues to develop.
Further development could also be helped by merging technology from different sports such as badminton, where the artificial legs used are thicker than normal blades to allow quick changes in direction and jumping sideways.
Cheng quoted Bournemouth University’s design expert Bryce Dyer on the future of prosthetics, who said that breakthroughs like Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius’ could encourage athletes to go even further by using increasingly more advanced prosthetics, “The technology will only improve” he said, adding that it will be up to sports federations to set boundaries on how much the prosthetics can contribute to performance.
The article continues by contemplating the future use of the technology developed in sport, and whether the technology is suitable on a day-to-day basis. It asks if enough is being done to develop the prosthetics and other advances such as lighter weight wheelchairs for the general market.Related Links:
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