Science

Underdeveloped Dog Gets A Cybernetic Upgrade

By Paul Pajarillo , Dec 30, 2015 11:57 PM EST
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Tara Anderson designed a prosthetic limb for a dog named Derby who was born with underdeveloped paws and legs. With the help of 3D Systems, the dog's prosthetics will be given major upgrades.

A dog known as Derby is a Husky mix born with underdeveloped limbs. Tara Anderson and her team from 3D Systems designed the original prosthetic limbs of the dog. However, the prosthetic limbs were too short, which prevented the dog from being able to sit like normal dogs do.

At present, Tara and her team in 3D Systems based on South Carolina has made new upgrades for the dog's prosthetic limbs. Derby's current prosthetics used 3D-printed technology, but were not established. They were too short, causing Derby to stoop down close to the ground.

The new upgrade will be fulfilling two important goals. First is that the concept would work, and second is simultaneously helping the underdeveloped dog to learn how to walk with the newly designed prosthetic limbs.

Tara's next phase for the project was to level off the dog such that Derby's back would be straight. Her first strategy is known as 'the blade.' It was a concept designed to make the prosthetic bigger, but it did not work. The artificial limbs flopped to the outside, which gave an impression that the dog had two large balloons sticking out.

Since the first design failed, the team decided to develop a device which will be capable of meeting the dog's demands physically and psychologically. The idea was to create a taller artificial limb that will work like a natural knee. Using a 3D-printing method called SLS or Selective Laser Sintering, the team was successful in creating a nylon prosthetic limb with critical features.

Sherry Portanova, Derby's adoptive owner, stated that the dog took the new cybernetic prosthetic limb very well. It was not different from the old one, except that it raised the dog to its proper height. Derby is now able to walk and run in a straight line, and can now sit like a normal dog.

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