Terrain-Adaptive Lower Limb Prosthesis

Although there have been great advances in the control of lower extremity prostheses, transitioning between terrains such as ramps or stairs remains a major challenge for the field. The mobility of leg amputees is thus limited, impacting their quality of life and independence. This projects aims to solve this problem by designing, implementing, and integrating a combined terrain-adaptive and volitional controller for powered lower limb prostheses. The controller will be able to predict terrain changes using data from both intrinsic sensors and electromyography (EMG) signals from the user; adapt the ankle position before footfall in a biologically accurate manner; and provide a torque profile consistent with biological ankle kinetics during stance. The result will allow amputees to traverse and transition among flat ground, stairs, and slopes of varying grade with lower energy and pain, greater balance, and without manually changing the walking mode of their prosthesis.