After remaining relatively unchanged for the past few years, running blades are undergoing redesign efforts that could help more athletes than ever participate in the Olympics, according to a recent article in co.Exist.
The article describes a joint effort by Altair, a design company, and Eastman, a chemicals and plastics manufacturing supplier, to rethink the blade-shaped prosthetics used by athletes—most famously by Oscar Pistorious in the Summer 2012 Olympics. According to reporter Ariel Schwartz, the project was taken on by the companies after Paralympian runner Blake Leeper challenged designers to move the concept forward.
The blades now in testing employ curved bottom plates to better accommodate track corners, "twists" in the blade that can decrease drag force by 57%, and a new attachment system that includes a "fabric shroud" that helps to lock the prosthetic into place. According to the article, the new design meets Olympic regulations and could be seen in the 2016 games.
American Physical Therapy Association | 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1488 703/684-APTA (2782) | 800/999-2782 | 703/683-6748 (TDD) | 703/684-7343 (fax)
Contact Us | For Advertisers & Exhibitors | For Media | Follow APTA
All contents © 2014 American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.