Prof. Simon (PI)
SCH: INT: Optimal Prosthesis Design with Energy Regeneration, NSF, $1.5M
co-PIs: Antonie van den Bogert, Hanz Richter
Abstract - The goals of this research are three-fold:
If successful, the results of this research will lead to new methods for optimizing complex, inter-related subsystems, such as those that are characteristic of prostheses. The human leg operates by transferring energy between the knee, which absorbs energy, and the ankle, which produces energy. The new prosthesis design that results from this research will mimic the energy transfer of the human leg. Inter-related engineering systems are typically designed and optimized independently of each other. This results in designs that are overly conservative, that do not interact optimally, and that limit performance, adaptability, and robustness. This research will develop integrated optimization algorithms that consider the inter-dependence of related subsystems (for example, hardware, software, and control). Current knee prostheses do not restore normal gait, and this contributes to degenerative joint disease among amputees. This research will develop new design and optimization approaches that will allow prostheses to perform more robustly, to perform closer to natural human gait, and to last longer between battery charges than current prostheses.
NSF Award Abstract