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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Frank Sup

Second Advisor

Brian Umberger

Third Advisor

Yossi Chait

Fourth Advisor

Ian Grosse

Subject Categories

Electro-Mechanical Systems

Abstract

Over the past decade, the growing field of robotics has created new possibilities in lower limb prostheses. The focus of these new prostheses has been replicating the dynamics of the lost limb in order to restore gait of individuals with lower limb amputations to healthy norms. This places demanding loads on the residual limb. Compensation by the rest of body is high, causes overloading of intact joints and can lead to deterioration of mobility and overall health. Abnormalities remain present in the person’s gait, stemming from the loading of soft tissue and the altered anatomy of the affected limb. In this dissertation, an experimental prosthesis is developed with systematic, simulation based techniques. Kinematics and kinetics of the prosthesis design are altered in order to actively realign the limb in relation to the center of pressure during stance, allowing positive power to be generated by the prosthesis while actively reducing the magnitude of the sagittal moment transferred to the residual limb. Initial findings show that during walking with the experimental device compared to a daily use prosthesis, peak pressures on the residual limb are lowered by over 10% while maintaining walking speed.

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