Powered Lower-Limb Prostheses

A Robotic Prosthesis for Transfemoral Amputees

Despite significant technological advances over the past decade (such as the introduction of microcomputer-modulated damping during swing), the majority of commercial transfemoral prostheses remain limited to energetically passive devices. That is, the joints of the prostheses can either dissipate or store and return energy, but cannot provide any net power over a gait cycle. During level walking, transfemoral amputees expend up to 60% more metabolic energy relative to healthy subjects, and exert as much as three times the affected-side hip power and torque relative to healthy subjects.

We have shown preliminary results that suggest a prosthesis with actively powered knee and ankle joints will significantly enhance the mobility of these transfemoral amputees, both by diminishing the biomechanical disparity between transfemoral amputees and healthy persons during level walking, and by enabling forms of locomotion, such as slope and stair climbing, not presently afforded by passive prostheses.  It both increases stability and provides net positive energy transfer, enabling gait representative of healthy biomechanics for a variety of locomotive activities.

The device seen at the right is our most recent prototype and is an entirely self-contained, powered knee and ankle prosthesis. Its control system allows the user to perform a gamut of daily activities, including walking at different cadences, standing on non-level terrain, and ascending or descending both slopes and stairs, and transitioning between standing and sitting.

 

 

prosthetic leg

Media

Tennesseean: Teacher Tests Bionic Leg at Heritage Middle School

The Tenneseean, a Gannett Company and Tennessee newspaper, reported on an amputee subject, a teacher, sporting the Generation 3 prosthesis at a middle school.  The subject demonstrates walking on level and uneven ground and up slopes, transitioning between sitting and standing, and ascending stairs.

Science Nation: Bionic Leg Makes Amputee Faster on his Feet

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Science Nation:

Bionic Leg Makes Amputee Faster on his Feet

 

Science Nation is a science video series commissioned by the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. This video features one of our subjects as he helps test the Generation 2 prototype.

Preliminary Stumble Reactions

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Preliminary Stumble Reactions

Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis

 

Through the use of inertial measurement sensors, we have been able to detect a stumble in gait within 100ms of its occurence. This video demonstrates 4 conditions in which the Generation 1 prosthesis is able to detect and appropriately react to a stumbling event.

Activities of Daily Living

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Activities of Daily Living

Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis

 

This video demonstrates some of the functionality in the Generation 3 prosthesis. A transfemoral test subject demonstrates sit-to-stand, and stand-to-sit transitions, variable cadence walking, and stair ascent and descent.

Slope Ascent Comparison

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This video highlights the benefits of a powered knee and ankle for the purpose of slope ascent. A transfemoral test subject walks on 5 and 10 degree slopes with the Generation 1 powered prosthesis, and also with his daily use prosthesis (an MPC knee and carbon-fiber ankle-foot complex).

Running

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Running with a Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis

 

This video shows a transfemoral subject running with the Generation 2 prosthesis at 5.0 mph in real time and slow motion.  The subject further demonstrates transitioning from a walk (3 mph) to a run (5 mph) and back to a walk (3 mph).

Bilateral Transfemoral Amputee Gait

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This video depicts a bilateral transfemoral amputee walking with a pair of Generation 2 prostheses, as well as with his own daily-use passive prostheses.

Estimation of Crank Angle for Cycling with a Powered Prosthesis

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Estimation of Crank Angle for Cycling with a Powered Prosthesis

 

This video shows verification of real-time on-board estimation of the configuration of the prosthesis and, in particular, bicycle crank, to be used in a controller for cycling with a powered transfemoral prosthesis.

Publications

  • Metabolics of Stair Ascent with a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, E. D. Ledoux, B. E. Lawson, A. H. Shultz, H. L. Bartlett, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, August 2015, Pending Publication.

  • Running with a Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis, A. H. Shultz, B. E. Lawson, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 23, no. 3, 2015. IEEE Xplore

  • Impedance and Admittance-Based Coordination Control Strategies for Robotic Lower Limb Prostheses, B. E. Lawson and M. Goldfarb, ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Magazine, 2014, vol. 136 no. 9, pp. S12-S17, 2014. proquest.com [html]

  • A Robotic Leg Prosthesis: Design, Control and Implementation, B. E. Lawson. J. E. Mitchell. D. Truex, A. H. Shultz, E. Ledoux, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine Special Issue on Wearable Robotics, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 70-81, 2014. IEEE Xplore

  • A Powered Prosthetic Intervention for Bilateral Transfemoral Amputees, B. E. Lawson, B. Ruhe, A. H. Shultz and, M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 1042-1050, 2014. IEEE Xplore

  • Estimation of Crank Angle for Cycling with a Powered Prosthesis, B. E. Lawson, A. H. Shultz, E. Ledoux, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, August 2014, pp. 6207-6210. IEEE Xplore

  • Evaluation of a Coordinated Control System for a Pair of Powered Transfemoral Prostheses, B. E. Lawson, A. H. Shultz, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 3888-3893, May 2013. IEEE Xplore

  • Realizing the Promise of Robotic Leg Prostheses, M. Goldfarb, B. E. Lawson and A. H, Shultz, Science Translational Medicine, vol. 5, pp. 210-213, 2013. stm.sciencemag.org

  • Control of Stair Ascent and Descent With a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, B. E. Lawson, H. A. Varol, A. Huff, E. Erdemir, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 466-473, 2013. IEEE Xplore

  • A Preliminary Investigation of Powered Prostheses for Improved Walking Biomechanics in Bilateral Transfemoral Amputees, B. E. Lawson, A. Huff, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 4164-4167, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • A Running Controller for a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, A. Huff, B. E. Lawson, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 4168-4171, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • Standing Stability Enhancement with an Intelligent Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, B. Lawson, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 58, iss. 9, pp. 2617-2624, 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Upslope Walking with a Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis: Initial Results with an Amputee Subject, F. Sup, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 19, iss. 1, pp. 71-78, 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Volitional Control of a Prosthetic Knee Using Surface Electromyography, K. Ha, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 58, iss. 1, pp. 144-151, 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Ground Adaptive Standing Controller for a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, B. Lawson, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 1-6, June 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Myoelectric Control of a Powered Knee Prosthesis for Volitional Movement During Non-Weight-Bearing Activities, K. Ha, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 3515-3518, August 2010. IEEE Xplore

  • Stumble Detection and Classification for an Intelligent Transfemoral Prosthesis, B. Lawson, H. A. Varol, F. Sup, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 511-514, August 2010. IEEE Xplore

  • Multiclass Real-Time Intent Recognition of a Powered Lower Limb Prosthesis, H. A. Varol, F.Sup, M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 57, iss. 3, pp. 542-551, 2010. IEEE Xplore

  • Preliminary Evaulations of a Self-Contained Anthropomorphic Transfemoral Prosthesis, F. Sup, H. A. Varol, J. Mitchell, T. J. Withrow, M. Goldfarb, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 14, iss. 6, pp. 667-676, 2009. IEEE Xplore

  • Self-Contained Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis: Initial Evaluation on a Transfemoral Amputee, F. Sup, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 638-644, April 2009. IEEE Xplore

  • Powered Sit-to-Stand and Assistive Stand-to-Sit Framework for a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, H. A. Varol, F.Sup, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 645-651, April 2009. IEEE Xplore

  • Real-time Gait Mode Intent Recognition of a Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis for Standing and Walking, H. A. Varol, F. Sup, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, pp. 66-72, October 2008. IEEE Xplore

  • Design and Control of a Powered Transfemoral Prosthesis, F. Sup, A. Bohara, and M. Goldfarb, International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 263-273, 2008. sagepub.com [PDF]

  • Decomposition-Based Control for a Powered Knee and Ankle Transfemoral Prosthesis, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 783-789, June 2007. IEEE Xplore

  • Real-time Intent Recognition for a Powered Knee and Ankle Transfemoral Prosthesis, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 16-23, June 2007. IEEE Xplore

  • Design and Control of an Electrically Powered Knee Prosthesis, K. Fite, J. Mitchell, F. Sup, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 902-905, June 2007. IEEE Xplore

  • Design and Control of a Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis, F. Sup, A. Bohara, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4134-4139, April 2007. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Pneumatically Actuated Transfemoral Prosthesis, F. Sup, and M. Goldfarb, Proceedings of ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exposition, pp. 1419-1428, November 2006. ASME Digital Collection