Innovation | Moto Knee

John Tozzi

COURTESY BIOADAPT, INC.

Form and function Hydraulic prosthetic components provide the tension and range of motion needed for intense physical activity, from skiing and snowmobiling to riding horses and dirt bikes.

Innovator Mike Schultz

Age 31

Founder of Pillager (Minn.)-based prosthetics company Biodapt and a professional racer

Market More amputees today expect “that you can return to a pretty functional, high level, because the technology is there to help you,” says prosthetics specialist Steve Fletcher.

Prototype Schultz’s first Moto Knee replaced the leg he lost in a 2008 competitive snowmobiling accident.

Cost The device sells for about $6,000. It doesn’t replace walking prostheses and generally isn’t covered by insurance.

Options Users can vary the knee’s level of resistance.

1. Range of motion Schultz’s linkage system provides resistance when Moto Knee is flexed as far as 135 degrees — the position of a leg squatting on a bike or snowmobile — vs. 80 degrees or 90 degrees for other artificial legs.

2. Tension With mountain-bike shocks adding resistance, the aluminum and steel leg keeps its mechanized muscles clenched for riding, rather than loose as when walking.

Next Steps

Biodapt has sold 75 Moto Knees so far, mostly to athletes and wounded veterans. Schultz is competing in a motocross race for amputees at the X Games this summer in Los Angeles. He plans to finish standing on the podium, but if he doesn’t, Moto Knee may be there anyway, he says: “Three competitors are going to be wearing our equipment.”

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