Research Papers

Concept Through Preliminary Bench Testing of a Powered Lower Limb Prosthetic Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Bryan J. Bergelin

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53233bryan.bergelin@marquette.edu

Javier O. Mattos

121 Kingston Ridge Drive, Columbia, SC 29209percussivebrass@earthlink.net

Joseph G. Wells

 REI Automation, Inc., Columbia, SC 29209

Philip A. Voglewede1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53233philip.voglewede@marquette.edu

Note: Ankle moments are taken about the axis perpendicular to the sagittal plane.

The MATLAB fmincon function uses a sequential quadratic programming method with a line search. For more information, see online MATLAB help pages (30).

Siemens UGS NX 6.0 is a computer aided drafting (CAD) program that calls other “behind-the-scenes” solvers, making it a powerful and versatile CAE program capable of motion, FEM, fluid, etc., simulations.


Corresponding author.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 2(4), 041005 (Sep 03, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002205 History: Received March 09, 2010; Revised July 08, 2010; Published September 03, 2010; Online September 03, 2010

This paper outlines the design and testing of a powered ankle prosthesis, which utilizes a four-bar mechanism in conjunction with a spring and motor that mimics nonamputee (normal) ankle moments. This approach would enable transtibial (below the knee) amputees to walk at a normal speed with minimal energy input. The design takes into account the energy supplied by the wearer required to achieve many of the desired characteristics of a normal gait. A proof-of-concept prototype prosthesis was designed, optimized, fabricated, and tested with the purpose of demonstrating its ability to match crucial ankle moments during the stance phase of gait. Testing of this prosthesis proved crucial in determining the prosthesis’ capabilities and in evaluating this approach.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 4

Plot of normal ankle moment and optimum with a penalized cost function

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Figure 5

Normal ankle stiffness plotted with the latest four-bar optimum

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Figure 6

Motor and spring power contributions for 6–60% of stride

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Figure 7

Original location for torsion spring

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Figure 1

Normal ankle moment curve where the heel-strike begins nearest the origin

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Figure 2

Moment versus gait cycle with ±1 standard deviation through consecutive heel strikes of the same foot

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Figure 3

Model of the four-bar prosthesis configuration where C is the location of the spring/motor and l0–l3 are the links of the four-bar mechanism

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Figure 8

Lower limb prosthetic device prototype

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Figure 9

Prosthesis in MTS fixture

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Figure 10

Linear displacement plot for MTS testing

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Figure 11

Theoretical vertical reaction force for 6–60% of stride

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Figure 12

Linear velocity comparison for 6–60% of stride

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Figure 13

Reaction force comparison for 6–60% of stride

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Figure 14

Prosthesis CAD model used in motion simulation

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Figure 15

Simulation reaction force comparison for 6–60% of stride



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