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Monday, October 29, 2012

Thinking Leg Prothesis

Credit: SSSA, Cyberlegs  
The CYBERLEGs consortium, coordinated by the BioRobotics InstituteScuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy, and supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme with 2,5M€, aims to develop an artificial cognitive system for dysvascular trans-femoral amputees lower-limb functional replacement and assistance in activities of daily living. CYBERLEGs will be a robotic system constituted of an active cognitive artificial leg for the functional replacement of the amputated limb and a wearable active orthosis for assisting the contralateral sound limb. CYBERLEGs will allow the amputee to walk back and forward, go up and down stairs, and move from sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit with a minimum cognitive and energetic effort. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the control system of CYBERLEGs will be based on motor primitives as fundamental building blocks, thus endowing CYBERLEGs with semi-autonomous behaviour for planning the motion of the prosthesis joints and the assistive action of the orthosis module. CYBERLEGs will be capable of high-level cognitive skills, interfaced to the amputee through a bi-directional interaction. It will be able to understand user-motor intentions smoothly and effectively and to prevent the risk of fall for the amputee, by means of a multi-sensory fusion algorithm based on (i) the observation of the motion of the amputee body, (ii) the interaction force between CYBERLEGs and the amputee, and (iii) their force interaction with ground. Finally, CYBERLEGs will be capable of closing the loop with the amputee: the amputee will receive an efferent feedback from CYBERLEGs which will enhance the perception of CYBERLEGs as a part of his/her own body.

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