Biomechatronics | Terrain Detection Systems
Massachusetts institute of technology, MIT, MIT Media Lab, robotics, prosthetics, prostheses, exoskeletons, orthoses, orthosis, science, engineering, biomechanics, mechatronics,

Terrain Detection Systems


Robotic wearable devices often must be able to distinguish among many different terrain conditions. We are developing methodologies for detecting these conditions with available sensor technology.


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

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.

M. T. Farrell and H. M. Herr,
A method to determine the optimal features for control of a powered lower-limb prostheses,
IEEE EMBC, 2011.