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Data-Driven Phase-Based Control of a Powered Knee-Ankle Prosthesis for Variable-Incline Stair Ascent and Descent
  • Ross Cortino ,
  • T. Kevin Best ,
  • Robert Gregg
Ross Cortino
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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T. Kevin Best
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Robert Gregg
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Powered knee-ankle prostheses can offer benefits over conventional passive devices during stair locomotion by providing biomimetic net-positive work and active control of joint angles. However, many modern control approaches for stair ascent and descent are often limited by time-consuming hand-tuning of user/task-specific parameters, predefined trajectories that remove user volition, or heuristic approaches that cannot be applied to both stair ascent and descent. This work presents a phase-based hybrid kinematic and impedance controller (HKIC) that allows for semi-volitional, biomimetic stair ascent and descent at a variety of step heights. We define a unified phase variable for both stair ascent and descent that utilizes lower-limb geometry to adjust to different users and step heights. We extend our prior data-driven impedance model for variable-incline walking, modifying the cost function and constraints to create a continuously-varying impedance parameter model for stair ascent and descent over a continuum of step heights. Experiments with above-knee amputee participants (N=2) validate that our HKIC controller produces biomimetic ascent and descent joint kinematics, kinetics, and work across four step height configurations. We also show improved kinematic performance with our HKIC controller in comparison to a passive microprocessor-controlled device during stair locomotion.