The Ottobock X3 microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee, designed in collaboration with the US military, is now being made available to civilians. The goal of the device centers on working to develop a more durable and intuitive prosthetic leg to assist injured service members with above knee amputations return to normal activities of daily living, as well as active duty, if desired.
Ottobock’s X3 knee features an accelerometer and a gyroscope engineered to intuitively sense where a user’s leg is in space. The device also offers additional physical capabilities for the “real world,” including running, walking backward, crossing obstacles in a more anatomically way, and climbing stairs step-over-step without massive compensating movement. The electronic leg is designed to be waterproof, allowing for contact with water through showering, swimming, boating, and fishing. A laptop and Bluetooth technology are used to program the X3.
A total of five activity modes can be set for activities such as biking, golfing, and driving. Each mode is activated using a key fob-sized remote. Ottobock adds that the device also offers a mute mode to silence all vibration and beep signals of the leg when necessary. Brad Ruhl, president, CEO, Ottobock US HealthCare, emphasizes the company’s goal to become a global leader in prosthetic technology. “We are continuously looking for ways to return those with limb loss to a life and activity level they desire. With regard to the X3, it’s been extremely rewarding to collaborate with US military experts in the field of prosthetics to develop this one-of-a-kind leg. We look forward to hearing stories of lives changed and being lived in a way never before thought possible.”