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Design, Control, and Evaluation of a Robotic Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Emulator
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  • Anthony Anderson ,
  • Yuri Hudak ,
  • Brittney Muir ,
  • Patrick Aubin
Anthony Anderson
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Yuri Hudak
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Brittney Muir
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Patrick Aubin
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People with transtibial limb loss suffer from reduced mobility. Intelligent ankle-foot prostheses have the potential to improve quality of life in people with limb loss, but there are scientific, clinical, and commercial barriers that prevent widespread impact. Further research tools and experiments are needed to expand our understanding of how to design and control intelligent prosthetic limbs. We designed and built a robotic ankle-foot prosthesis with off-board actuation and control to serve as a platform for biomechanical lower limb loss research. Our prosthesis fits inside of a shoe during walking, and attaches to standard clinical prosthesis componentry, including carbon fiber prosthetic footplates and pyramid adapters. Our novel mechanical architecture implements a custom torsion spring in parallel with the ankle joint to allow for dorsiflexion and plantarflexion torque control with a single off-board actuator. Benchtop tests show that our prosthesis has peak plantarflexion torques greater than 175 Nm and a torque control bandwidth of 6.1 Hz. Walking experiments with two participants with lower limb loss indicate that the prosthesis can achieve low torque tracking errors and push-off power greater than the biological ankle during walking. This device will enable future experiments on amputee gait biomechanics, human-robot interaction, and prosthesis control.
Aug 2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics volume 5 issue 3 on pages 741-752. 10.1109/TMRB.2023.3291015