A simulation model of self-powered ankle prosthetics (available)

Starting Date: June 2019
Duration: 10 weeks
Time commitment: Full time
Prerequisites: experience with Matlab programming (desirable), basic understanding of feedback/PID control, basic knowledge of relevant physics notions (classical mechanics/rigid-body mechanics)

Unlike conventional passive prosthetics, self-powered prosthetics provide positive net work to enhance strength and speed of limb movement. These are used not just in rehabilitation medicine but also as components of powered exoskeletons, a technology with numerous applications including military, manufacturing and construction industry, emergency and rescue. The extent of powered propulsion is typically determined by an automated control algorithm which depends on a number of configurable parameters.

In this project, you will develop a Matlab-based simulation model of the BiOM Ankle (see [1]), compiled from literature [2] and device manuals, and simulate the developed model in closed-loop with available models of gait behavior. This project is an initial step towards a systematic analysis of the resilience of the powered prosthetic to incorrect configurations (unintentional or malicious) of the control parameters. If time permits, you will use the closed-loop prosthetics model to generate reprogramming attacks that reconfigure the device’s parameters in order to cause harm to the wearer.

[1] Ottobock. Empower Ankle. https://www.ottobock.co.uk/prosthetics/lower-limb-prosthetics/prosthetic-product-systems/empower-ankle/
[2] Au, Samuel K., Jeff Weber, and Hugh Herr. “Powered ankle–foot prosthesis improves walking metabolic economy.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics 25.1 (2009): 51-66.