Reducing effort through an augmented lower limb prostheses
This project explores the idea of augmenting function of lower limb amputees through a powered prosthesis. While many such devices are currently being developed, it remains unclear whether a patient can utilize external power to reduce the effort required by their muscles and cardiovascular system, 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 patients’ metabolic costs using a portable oxygen consumption system. With this data we hope to determine how much energy it takes for the person to walk, if increasing power supplied from a device can incrementally reduce the metabolic cost of the patient, and if we can implement an online machine-learning scheme to automatically determine optimal control parameters.
Presented at the University of Michigan
Published in PLoS One, 2015
$358,245 grant from the National Science Foundation