View Full Version : Re: Oscar Pistorius

05-21-2008, 06:37 AM
I have only been following some of this thread but I agree whole heartedly with Terry¡¯s comments . . .

Since the mechanism is "designed and engineered," we have to ask ¡°how do we engineer fair?¡± It obviously becomes particularly complex if the recipient has no previous performance data to compare to.

I would be interested to know what specific criteria was used to design the prosthetic device in the first place.

Weight? (As light as possible, typical ranges for a person that size, other?)
Length? (was a height target selected and why?)
Spring rate
Performance (Was a performance target "set in design" or "measured afterwards"? What performance metric? How would you select this target?)

The initial assumptions that went into this design for Oscar Pistorius would be terribly interesting for this debate.

Scott A. Ziolek
Deputy General Manager
Comfort Engineering and Human Factors
Dymos of America
Detroit Technical Center
37735 Enterprise Ct, Suite 300
Farmington Hills, MI 48331

PHN 248.536.0147
FAX 248.536.0159
EML ScottZiolek@DymosUSA.com

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Terry O'Bannon
> As sort of a side note to everyone else's excellent comments, I had a more
> specific question:
> Was there an exact criteria established by this scientific group for how to
> evaluate "advantage?" Specifically, If I heard correctly sprint advantages
> were lowly weighted or ignored and the metabolic efficiency was thought to
> predominate, and it was determined he did not have an advantage for a 400 m
> distance.
> 1) Assuming there was a numerical calculation, was this calculated
> specifically for Mr. Pistorius's anthropometry? Wouldn't such a calculation
> need to be customized for each petitioner and their proposed prosthetic?
> 2) I know the argument was prepared for his specific prosthetic, but was the
> criteria defined clearly enough that the prosthetic manufacturer could know
> how much he could redesign (masses, spring rates) without slipping over into
> "advantage?" Could there be an "advantage" standard applied the way some
> jockey/ horses are required to add weight in certain types of races to
> "normalize" the race?
> 3) Would the criteria be easy to re-weight for runner/ prosthetic advantage
> over different distances, especially as sprinting becomes more of a factor?
> Regards,
> Terry O'Bannon
> Principal Engineer, Occupant Biomechanics
> Lear Corporation, Seating Systems Division
> 21557 Telegraph Road
> Southfield, MI 48033
> E: tobannon@lear.com
> T: 248.447.4123
> -----Original Message-----
> From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
> [mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Alena Grabowski
> Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:47 PM
> Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Oscar Pistorius
> We, the scientific group that has refuted the claims of the IAAF, believe
> that it is relevant to make the following points based on recent commentary
> from the Biomch-L list regarding the CAS's ruling to overturn the IAAF's
> decision that banned Oscar Pistorius from international able-bodied
> competition:
> 1. The work conducted by our group was done pro bono. None of us received
> compensation for our research or participation in the hearing. The legal
> team selected our group from many other willing scientists. All of us were
> screened and cleared for any potential conflicts of interest by the lawyers.
> In addition, Rodger Kram and Hugh Herr were judged to not have any conflict
> of interest by the CAS court.
> 2. Our group of scientists was asked to evaluate the scientific claims made
> by the IAAF that resulted in the banning of Oscar Pistorius.
> 3. We evaluated the claims by using data from the literature, as well as our
> own data collected at Rice University.
> 4. As Ton has stated, this ruling applies only to Oscar and to the Cheetah
> prosthetics, thus any new prosthetic running technology will have to be
> re-evaluated before being allowed in IAAF competition.
> 5. We plan to publish the data that we have collected in a peer- reviewed
> journal as soon as possible.
> 6. We hope that the interest in the Oscar Pistorius case will result in a
> number of further studies into questions regarding the biomechanical and
> energetic effects of prosthetics on human walking and running.
> Our group includes Drs. Hugh Herr, Peter Weyand, Rodger Kram, Matthew
> Bundle, Craig McGowan, and Alena Grabowski.
> Alena Grabowski, PhD
> Postdoctoral Associate
> Biomechatronics Laboratory
> MIT Media Lab
> http://web.media.mit.edu/~alenag
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