Multi-Contact Locomotion on Transfemoral Prostheses via Hybrid System Models and Optimization-Based Control
Ames, Aaron D.
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Lower-limb prostheses provide a prime example of cyber-physical systems (CPSs) requiring the synergistic development of sensing, algorithms and controllers. With a view towards better understanding CPSs of this form, this paper presents a systematic methodology using multi-domain hybrid system models and optimization-based controllers to achieve human-like multi-contact prosthetic walking on a custom-built prosthesis: AMPRO. To achieve this goal, unimpaired human locomotion data is collected and the nominal multi-contact human gait is studied. Inspired by previous work which realized multi-contact locomotion on a bipedal robot AMBER2, a hybrid system based optimization problem utilizing the collected reference human gait as reference is utilized to formally design stable multi-contact prosthetic gaits that can be implemented on the prosthesis directly. Leveraging control methods that stabilize bipedal walking robots—control Lyapunov function based quadratic programs coupled with variable impedance control—an online optimization-based controller is formulated to realize the designed gait in both simulation and experimentally on AMPRO. Improved tracking and energy efficiency are seen when this methodology is implemented experimentally. Importantly, the resulting multi-contact prosthetic walking captures the essentials of natural human walking both kinematically and kinetically.