Reducing effort through an augmented lower limb prostheses

Project ID: 552

Cube proposed by: Deanna Gates

Unit: Kinesiology

Cycle: MCubed 1.0

Cube Accomplishments Click here for more details
3 accomplishments including $358,245 in research funding!
About this project: 
This project explores the idea of improving performance of lower limb amputees by providing external power to the prosthesis. While many such devices are currently being developed, it remains unclear whether a patient can use external power to reduce metabolic effort, or what level of power we should provide the patient. In this study we will monitor patients as they walk on a treadmill wearing a commercial powered ankle prosthesis where the amount of power supplied can be adjusted in real time. The device also supplies on-line measurements of the joint angles and power it supplies in every step. We will also measure metabolic costs using a portable oxygen consumption system. With this data we hope to determine: 1) if increasing power supplied from a device can incrementally reduce the metabolic cost of the patient, and 2) if we can implement an online machine-learning scheme to automatically determine optimal control parameters.