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Sponsor: National Science Foundation

PI: Hwan Choi

The state-of-the-art prosthetic robots provide parameter-tuning control that adapts to various walking conditions. However, they are limited in how they provide accurate and prompt device control because they rely on internal sensors to account for interparticipant walking variability, and prescription methods are performed under a temporally/spatially limited lab environment and are not suitable for various real-world walking conditions outside the lab. Because current prostheses lack the neuromuscular feedback control from the visual information that the rest of the body uses in gait, device users require extra musculature recruitment to compensate for the increased instability and experience a greater risk of falling and negative joint issues. Moreover, this can leave the lower limb amputees susceptible to post-prescription effects from aging/recovery/injury. To promote safe activity for users, we must restore unimpaired individuals’ visual input neuromuscular feedback control into prostheses. To enable gait kinematics analyses in daily living, we must be able to sense human gaits without lab-setting motion capture cameras. The ubiquitous sensing will enable proactive, adaptive prosthetic control, as well as clinical diagnosis in daily living. The new ubiquitous sensing and proactive control cannot be implemented on an off-the-shelf prosthesis to achieve optimal outcomes in daily living, so we also need a practical, lightweight, and energy-efficient prosthetic robot that can provide multi-tuning functions. Such an integrated, proactive, and ubiquitous prosthetic robot care platform is fundamentally different from existing devices or their controls.

Principal Investigator

Hwan Choi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering