The Genium X3 Knee is the most advanced bionic knee on the market. Sophisticated sensor and microprocessor technologies make navigating challenging terrains routine. Fully waterproof and highly resistant to dust, dirt, and corrosion, it is also ideal for outdoor activities.
What’s On This Page?
- A Quick Look at the Genium X3
- Sensor & Microprocessor Capabilities
- Compatibility with Prosthetic Feet
- Water & Dust Resistance
- Device Weight & User Weight Limit
- K-Level Rating
- User Software
- Customer Videos
- User Feedback Survey & Results
- Considerations Before Buying a Genium X3
- Related Information
A Quick Look at the Genium X3
Fortunately, we have found an independent user (Steve Wilmes) who has created a few short videos that show us exactly what the Genium X3 can do. Here is one of those videos:
As you can see, the X3 is waterproof, which is a huge plus. But what we find extraordinary is the level of trust that Steve has in the knee even when walking on a slippery surface in running water.
You will see the same level of trust demonstrated by users in numerous other videos.
Genium X3 Key Features
Sensor & Microprocessor Capabilities
To understand how bionic knees work in general, please see A Complete Guide to Bionic Legs & Feet.
The short story is that the microprocessors in bionic knees have three main tasks:
- automatically adjusting the resistance in the knee to ensure the proper level of support through each stage of the Stance Phase regardless of terrain;
- ensuring the optimal release point for the knee to begin the Swing Phase and also the proper foot clearance during this phase, especially when ascending stairs, ramps, etc.;
- assisting in stumble recovery.
The Genium X3 performs these tasks using Ottobock’s Optimized Physiology Gait approach, as follows:
- PreFlex. The Genium X3 maintains a four-degree preflexion of the knee joint at heel strike. This dampens impact and allows the foot to achieve full contact with the surface more quickly.
- Adaptive Yielding Control. The knee rapidly adjusts knee flexion for optimum support, in real-time, in response to everything from changing terrain to increased user weight (i.e. if the user is carrying something) to the use of heavier footwear. This also helps absorb the impact of each step.
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). A bionic knee must flex properly at the precise moment that weight is transferred to the other leg. DSC uses multiple environmental inputs to calculate that precise moment and to manage the appropriate resistance and release of the knee joint. This not only increases stability but also supports multi-directional movement (i.e. backward, sideways, etc.).
- Adaptive Swing Phase Control. Ensures precise control of the lower-leg pendulum to 65 degrees of flexion regardless of walking speed. This helps prevent stumbles and falls.
To ensure optimum settings at all times, the Genium X3 updates and evaluates its sensor data 100 times per second.
All of this makes for an incredibly adaptable microprocessor knee. For example, the X3 can easily handle sudden changes in stride length or direction, which makes it ideal for busy, unpredictable environments like working in hospitals or daycare centers.
It can smoothly transition from walking to running, making it possible for users to spontaneously run to catch a bus or taxi, etc.
It can automatically adjust for increased weight, allowing users to pick up boxes or suitcases without worrying if the increased weight might cause them to stumble or fall.
It even makes it possible to traverse extremely challenging terrain, as shown in this video:
The X3 also offers different modes for specific activities such as bicycling, running, etc.
The entire system is designed to relieve the user of the need to micromanage their prosthesis, which makes it much less tiring. This alone can have a significant impact on the quality of life.
Compatibility with Prosthetic Feet
To make life even easier, Ottobock’s Quickchange adapter allows you to switch prosthetic feet in seconds, much as you would change a pair of shoes. This can be done without having to manually recalibrate the knee settings.
The Genium X3’s battery can last for up to five days, though Ottobock recommends charging the battery each night.
If completely drained, a full charge requires six to eight hours.
Water & Dust Resistance
The Genium X3 has an IP rating of 68, meaning it is fully submersible in both fresh water and salt water up to three meters for as long as 60 minutes, as you can see in this video:
The Genium X3 is also resistant to corrosion, dust, dirt, and sand. In other words, it is perfectly capable of handling most natural environments.
Device Weight & User Weight Limit
The Genium X3 weighs 1.7 kilograms. The maximum allowable user weight for the knee is 125 kilograms.
The Genium X3 is rated for K3 and K4 use. For a thorough understanding of K-levels, please see the Amputee Coalition’s web page on this topic.
In particular, the Genium X3 is designed for typical sports activities including running, swimming, tennis, etc. It is not designed for extreme sports such as free climbing, parachuting, paragliding, etc.
Ottobock provides a software application for users to manage some of the Genium X3’s settings. The app is called Cockpit:
This app allows users to do the following:
- Switch modes for different activities.
- Change settings for individual modes.
- Turn Bluetooth on and off.
- View the percentage of remaining battery charge, as well as the daily and total step counts.
Ottobock offers a full three-year warranty on the Genium X3 including any repair costs due to defects. They also offer free service inspections in months 12 and 24, and a free service unit during repair and service inspections.
The warranty can be extended to six years at the user’s option.
According to our information, the Genium X3 typically sells for more than $100,000 US including the socket, prosthetic foot, and all prosthetist fees.
For a complete list of prices for other microprocessor knees, please see our Microprocessor Knee Price List.
Occasionally, we run across high-quality customer videos that we think should be shared. This is the case with two videos from the excellent YouTube channel AmputeeOT.
We wanted to show you this first video to emphasize the fact that, while the Genium X3 is capable of many extraordinary feats, they don’t just happen on their own. As with any prosthesis, you need to put in a lot of hard work to truly master it. As usual, the ever-honest Christina gives us a real-life demonstration of this by showing us her practice routines for the X3’s Stair Function, which allows a user to walk step-over-step up stairs and over small obstacles:
We wanted to show you this second video because, despite the fact that the X3 has the highest rating and lowest repair rate in our User Satisfaction Surveys, this doesn’t mean it’s problem-free. Here, Christina shares her story of technical glitches with two X3s (her knee and a temporary loaner) in a short span:
The moral of this video: always be prepared!
User Feedback Survey & Results
Are you or have you previously been a Genium X3 customer? If so, please share your insights with others looking at the X3 as a possible prosthesis.
We do not yet have enough survey participants to publish complete results for the Genium X3. But we can say that, so far, it is the highest-rated bionic knee in terms of both user satisfaction and repair rates. For more information, see Bionic Limb User Satisfaction Statistics for 2021.
We’ll publish a full report on the X3 as soon as we have sufficient data.
Considerations Before Buying a Genium X3
The main considerations when considering the Genium X3 are its intended use and price.
Regarding intended use, active K3/K4 users are the ones most likely to fully utilize the Genium X3’s features. It is likely overkill for less active users.
As for price, not many people have $100,000 US plus to spend on a bionic knee. But if you can afford the Genium X3, its benefits are undeniable, especially in challenging terrains, outdoor environments, and during sporting activities.
The Genium X3 is also especially useful for bilateral amputees owing to the greater stability provided by its automatic microprocessor adjustments.
One small drawback to all bionic knees is that they weigh more than purely mechanical knees. But if a person is active and fit, as is typical of most Genium X3 customers, this should not cause any problems.
For a list of competitive devices, see Current Options for Microprocessor Knees.
For a comprehensive description of all current lower-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our complete guide.
Click here for more information on Ottobock.