For people with lower limb amputation, a user-specific human-machine interaction with their prostheses is required to ensure safe and comfortable assistance. Especially during dynamic turning manoeuvres, users experience high loads at the stump, which decreases comfort and may lead to long-term tissue damage. Preliminary experiments with users wearing a configurable, passive torsional adaptor indicate increased comfort and safety achieved by adaptation of torsional stiffness and foot alignment. Moreover, the results show that the individual preference regarding both parameters depend on gait situation and individual preference. Hence, measured loads in the structure of the prosthesis and subjective feedback regarding comfort and safety during different turning motions are considered in a user-specific human-machine interaction strategy for a prosthetic shank adaptor. Therefore, the interrelations of gait parameters with optimal configuration are stored in an individual preference-setting matrix. Stiffness and foot alignment are actively adjusted to the optimal parameters by a parallel elastic actuator. Two subjects reported that they experienced appropriate variation of stiffness and foot alignment, a noticeable reduction of load at the stump and that they could turn with less effort.
©2017 Florian Stuhlenmiller et al., published by De Gruyter
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