Patent published on October 19, 2023

Fox Factory's New Patent: Live Valve Tech Could Better Control Prosthetics

We all understand the importance of our limbs, they enable us to perform everyday tasks, and when they don't function properly, it becomes a serious hurdle in life. Especially for those who have to depend on prosthetics. This has put engineers in a fix trying to design artificial limbs that can adapt to different environments. The recently patented technology by Fox Factory aims to resolve this issue for people who require prosthesis.

The matter is about wearing the patented device US20230331333A1 on the body which functions as an artificial limb. The device houses a system that absorbs shocks and an active valve shock assembly that can adjust how it responds to shocks based on different movements and forces, hence giving better control to the user.

This system confronts the issue ordinary prosthetics face where the device is too soft or too stiff, causing a lack of stability and control for the user. Particularly, an ordinary prosthetic becomes unstable when a person goes downhill or lands after a jump because it does not have a way to modify its damping properties dynamically depending on the user's conditions.

Fox Factory's patented technology uses a device called 'Live Valve Technology', which can change its damping on the go. The user can control and adjust its damping properties depending upon the terrain they are passing through. This shock assembly is controlled by a smartphone application and any modifications made are promptly sent to the device's active valve controller via Bluetooth. This technology aids especially when the user has to face low-rate suspension movements, such as cornering roll, braking, acceleration yaw, and pitch.

After this technology is fully implemented and developed, people with prosthetics would have a significantly increased control of their artificial limbs. For example, a user will have a better feel of their bicycle and its movements. Most importantly, the user will feel 'one' with their mode of transportation - the feeling that the vehicle is an extension of the user's body.

P.S. - It is noteworthy that a patent is just an illustration of a concept, and its actual implication in the market is a completely different process. Thus, there is no surety whether this technology will be available in the market or not, but certainly, its successful application would make prosthetics far more user-friendly than they are now.

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