Ankle Angles during Step Turn and Straight Walk: Implications for the Design of a Steerable Ankle-foot Prosthetic Robot

Abstract

This article compares the three-dimensional angles of the ankle during step turn and straight walking. We used an infrared camera system (Qualisys Oqus ®) to track the trajectories and angles of the foot and leg at different stages of the gait. The range of motion (ROM) of the ankle during stance periods was estimated for both straight step and step turn. The duration of combined phases of heel strike and loading response, mid stance, and terminal stance and pre-swing were determined and used to measure the average angles at each combined phase. The ROM in Inversion/Eversion (IE) increased during turning while Medial/Lateral (ML) rotation decreased and Dorsiflexion/Plantarflexion (DP) changed the least. During the turning step, ankle displacement in DP started with similar angles to straight walk (-9.68° of dorsiflexion) and progressively showed less plantarflexion (1.37° at toe off). In IE, the ankle showed increased inversion leaning the body toward the inside of the turn (angles from 5.90° to 13.61°). ML rotation initiated with an increased medial rotation of 5.68° relative to the straight walk transitioning to 12.06° of increased lateral rotation at the toe off. A novel tendon driven transtibial ankle-foot prosthetic robot with active controls in DP and IE directions was fabricated. It is shown that the robot was capable of mimicking the recorded angles of the human ankle in both straight walk and step turn. INTRODUCTION Straight walk requires a complex sequence of muscle activation to modulate the ground reaction forces to keep stability and produce forward motion. Similarly, modulation of the reaction forces to steer the body is required for turning [1]. Two different strategies are commonly used for turning. The spin turn consists of turning the body around the leading leg

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Showing 1-10 of 17 references

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