First Steps Toward Translating Robotic Walking To Prostheses: A Nonlinear Optimization Based Control Approach
Ames, Aaron D.
MetadataShow full item record
This paper presents the first steps toward successfully translating nonlinear real-time optimization based controllers from bipedal walking robots to a self-contained powered transfemoral prosthesis: AMPRO, with the goal of improving both the tracking performance and the energy efficiency of prostheses control. To achieve this goal, a novel optimal control strategy combining control Lyapunov function (CLF) based quadratic programs (QP) with impedance control is proposed. This optimal controller is first verified on a human-like bipedal robot platform, AMBER. The results indicate improved (compared to variable impedance control) tracking performance, stability and robustness to unknown disturbances. To translate this complete methodology to a prosthetic device with an amputee, we begin by collecting reference human locomotion data via Inertial measurement Units (IMUs). This data forms the basis for an optimization problem that generates virtual constraints, i.e., parameterized trajectories, specifically for the amputee and the prosthesis. A online optimization based controller is utilized to optimally track the resulting desired trajectories. The parameterization of the trajectories is determined through a combination of on-board sensing on the prosthesis together with IMU data, thereby coupling the actions of the user with the controller. Importantly, the proposed control law displays remarkable tracking and improved energy efficiency, outperforming PD and impedance control strategies. This is demonstrated experimentally on the prosthesis AMPRO through the implementation of the holistic sensing, algorithm and control framework, with the end result being stable prosthetic walking by an amputee.