Tanner Rolfe



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This project focuses on the actuation of a multi-segment rigid body foot prototype capable of matching the change in profile of a human foot during gait. Previous work has focused on the design of the prototype using methods of shape-changing kinematic synthesis. In order to actuate the prototype, a tendon-based actuation scheme was conceived and partially implemented. The current prototype includes a series of paired cables, each connected to a separate segment of the foot. Tension in the cables counteracts the force of torsional springs implemented at the joints keeping the segments positioned in a neutral configuration, allowing each segment to achieve appropriate plantar- and dorsiflexion to match gait-derived configurations. Current work focuses on implementing active elements to drive the cables, as well as refinement of joint stiffness to increase the functionality and biomechanical accuracy of the prototype.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Andrew P. Murray, Dave Harry Myszka

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium project

Development and Actuation of a Shape-changing Rigid-body Human Foot Prototype