Optimizing Wearable Robotics

A core focus of our research is to predict the optimal behavior of robotic transtibial prostheses to optimize the user’s performance, efficiency, and loading of their limbs based on their constraints and needs. An innovative simulation-based approach in the OpenSim platform is used to generate system specifications based on the user’s abilities and the limitations posed by their altered anatomy. The central hypothesis is that alternative prosthesis designs can minimize the pressures applied to the residual limb and enhance gait efficiency by optimizing the orientation of the residual limb relative to the ground reaction force vector during gait. In this project, we developed the concept of active alignment, which realigns the affected residual limb toward the center of pressure during stance. During gait, the prosthesis configuration changes to shorten the moment arm between the ground reaction force and the residual limb. This reduces the peak moment transferred through the socket interface during late stance and increases comfort for the wearer.

Optimizing Design and Control of Wearable Robotics

B.R. Umberger, A.K.LaPré, R.T. Johnson, R.D. Wedge and F.C. Sup IV. (2017). Simulation of Residuum-Socket Dynamics in Walking Following Limb Loss, Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics: Brisbane, Australia.
Price, M. A., & Sup, F. C. (2020). Non-anthropomorphic Prosthesis Design Generated from Simulated Gait Optimization. In 2020 8th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob) (pp. 617-622). IEEE.
LaPrè, A. K., & Sup, F. (2011). Simulation of a slope adapting ankle prosthesis provided by semi-active damping. In 2011 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (pp. 587-590). IEEE.
Nguyen, V. Q., Umberger, B. R., & Sup, F. C. (2019, June). Predictive simulation of human walking augmented by a powered ankle exoskeleton. In 2019 IEEE 16th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) (pp. 53-58). IEEE.
LaPrè, A. K., Umberger, B. R., & Sup, F. (2014). Simulation of a powered ankle prosthesis with dynamic joint alignment. In 2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (pp. 1618-1621). IEEE.
Nguyen, V. Q., Johnson, R. T., Sup, F. C., & Umberger, B. R. (2019). Bilevel optimization for cost function determination in dynamic simulation of human gait. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 27(7), 1426-1435.
V.Q. Nguyen, M.A. Price, A.K. LaPrè, B.R. Umberger, and F.C. Sup IV, “Inclusion of Actuator Dynamics in Simulations of Assisted Human Movement”, Int J Numer Meth Biomed Engng; 36:e3334, 2020.
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