Rock climbing made easy by prosthetic leg
A passionate student at Pratt Institutes has been thinking about creating a prosthetic that would be designed specifically for rock-climbing. Rock-climbing is usually a tabu subject for those wearing prosthetic limbs because most artificial limbs on the market are not specifically designed for rock-climbing. But that doesn’t mean that people give up on their passion and those were the ones Kai Lin, studying at the Pratt Institute, thought of when he came up with the idea of Klippa (Swedish for cliff).
Klippa comes as a prosthetic leg designed specifically for rock climbing. Even though it might seem impossible to create an artificial limb that can help people overcome their limitations and actually enjoy rock-climbing without putting their lives at risk as mush, Kai has come with a pretty wacky, but good idea.
According to Kai, he though up the new design for the rock-climbing prosthetic by studying mountain goats, the best rock-climbers in the world. By studying these animals, Kai tried to recreate their anatomy through the Klippa design. His project didn’t consist of only monitoring goats, though. The student also did a fair amount of research on rock climbing, done by people, analyzing the types of joint movements most commonly encountered in rock-climbing.
Kai merged the way people climb rocks with the way rocks do and came up with a design for the rock climbing prosthetic that incorporates the hoof of the goat as well as its legs’ anatomy. The hoof is an important part of rock climbing for goats, since it tends to create suction between the hoof itself and hard surfaces like rocks and cliffs.
The design has not been put to practical use yet, but Kai is hopeful about the future and he will surely succeed with the Klippa not only because there are many people out there who are unable to go rock-climbing because their prosthetic won’t allow them, but because it is a noble quest which would help many people in many other situations different from rock climbing. You can find out the details of the project here.