The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) reports that according to a recent article in co.Exist, running blades (such as those worn by Oscar Pistorious) are undergoing redesign efforts that could help more athletes participate in the Olympics. The article reports that the new design meets Olympic regulations and could be seen in the 2016 games.
The APTA notes that in the article, the effort to redesign the blades stems from a collaboration between Altair, a design company, and Eastman, a chemicals and plastics manufacturing supplier to rethink the blade-shaped prosthetics. Reporter Ariel Schwartz states in the article that the project was taken on by the companies following a challenge by Blake Leeper, Paralympian runner, to move the concept forward.
The APTA states the blades that are now in testing use curved bottom plates, in order to better accommodate track corners, “twists” in the blade that can decrease drag force by 57%, and feature a new attachment system that includes a “fabric shroud” to help lock the prosthetic into place.