Human walking neuromechanical models show how each muscle works during normal, level-ground walking. They are mainly modeled with clutches and linear springs, and are able to capture dominant normal walking behavior. This suggests to us to use a series-elastic clutch at the knee joint for below-knee amputees. We have developed the powered ankle prosthesis, which generates enough force to enable a user to walk “normally.” However, amputees still have problems at the knee joint due to the lack of gastrocnemius, which works as an ankle-knee flexor and a plantar flexor. We hypothesize that metabolic cost and EMG patterns of an amputee with our powered ankle and virtual gastrocnemius will dramatically improve.
An artificial gastrocnemius for a transtibial prosthesis
K. Endo, E. Swart, and H. M. Herr,
An artificial gastrocnemius for a transtibial prosthesis,
IEEE EMBC, 2009.