Wearable Technologies (Jan 2023)

A reduced-order closed-loop hybrid dynamic model for design and development of lower limb prostheses

  • Josephus J.M. Driessen,
  • Matteo Laffranchi,
  • Lorenzo De Michieli

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4


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This manuscript presents a simplified dynamic human-prosthesis model and simulation framework for the purpose of designing and developing lower limb prosthesis hardware and controllers. The objective was to provide an offline design tool to verify the closed-loop behavior of the prosthesis with the human, in order to avoid relying solely on limiting kinematic and kinetic reference trajectories of (able-bodied) subjects and associated static or inverse dynamic analyses, while not having to resort to complete neuromusculoskeletal models of the human that require extensive optimizations to run. The presented approach employs a reduced-order model that includes only the prosthetic limb and trunk in a multi-body dynamic model. External forces are applied to the trunk during stance phase of the intact leg to represent its presence. Walking is realized by employing the well-known spring-loaded inverted pendulum model, which is shown to generate realistic dynamics on the prosthesis while maintaining a stable and modifiable gait. This simple approach is inspired from the rationale that the human is adaptive, and from the desire to facilitate modifications or inclusions of additional user actions. The presented framework is validated with two use cases, featuring a commercial and research knee prosthesis in combination with a passive ankle prosthesis, performing a continuous sequence of standing still, walking at different velocities and stopping.