A method to determine the optimal features for control of a powered lower-limb prostheses

M. T. Farrell, H. M. Herr


Lower-limb prostheses are rapidly advancing with greater computing power and sensing modalities. This paper is an attempt to begin exploring the trade-off between extrinsic and intrinsic control modalities. In this case, between electromyographic (extrinsic) and several internal sensors that can be used for intrinsic control. We propose a method that will identify the particular features, taken from two trans-femoral amputee and one trans-tibial amputee, during locomotion on varying terrain, that perfectly discriminate between locomotion modes. From this we are able to identify the source of the discriminability from a large-set of features that does not depend on the type of amputation. Also, we comment on the use of this algorithm in selecting the most discriminatory and least encumbering sensor/feature combination for transitions when the ground underneath the foot is unknown for trans-tibial amputees

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