The best things in life are often free, but sometimes, they are not accessible to everyone. This was the motivation behind “Pro-Toe-Type,” a project by Louisiana Tech University engineering freshman students Matthew English, Andrew Tucker, and Carter Ledbetter. Pro-Toe-Type concentrates on designing a prosthetic leg that makes hiking more accessible to prosthesis users.
The team believes that everyone should have the chance to enjoy hiking. But, according to English, hiking can be especially challenging for people experiencing limb loss.
According to the team, one of the obstacles for hikers using prosthetic legs is that the incline of hiking terrain and the usual prosthetic leg design make it more difficult to access and complete trails. Through Pro-Toe-Type, the team hopes to get prosthetic legs to where "the angle of the foot matches the angle of the ground."
The design project concludes the College of Engineering and Science’s “Living With the Lab” program for its first-year students. Through this final project, the department allows its students to apply the fundamentals of engineering.
With guidance from the freshman Engineering programs coordinator, Dr. Krystal Corbett, the team created Pro-Toe-Type, which won first place at the university’s design expo.
With students like these, there is a brighter hope for solutions that improve the quality of life for more people.