Public Thesis defense - IMMC


21 janvier 2021



will take place in the form of a video conference Teams

Design and Evaluation of Bio-inspired Control Strategies for Transfemoral Prosthesis by Sophie HEINS

Pour l’obtention du grade de Docteur en sciences de l’ingénieur et technologie

Despite recent developments in solutions for replacing the missing limb of transfemoral amputees and restoring natural locomotion, their use remains limited. An emerging trend for designing the control strategies for prosthesis actuators takes advantage of bio-inspiration, i.e. with control laws relying on biological principles that have been identified in healthy locomotion. In this dissertation, bio-inspired control strategies for a powered transfemoral prosthesis are developed. The following biological concepts are explored: (i) Central Pattern Generators (CPGs), which can be seen as coupled oscillators providing the rhythmic characteristics of locomotion; (ii) motor primitives, which are considered to be the principal components of muscles stimulations; and (iii) inverse internal models of the cerebellum, which plays an essential role in motor learning. This work presents the progressive development of three controllers for a representative compliant prosthesis. The first controller simply incorporates reference torque and angle profiles associated to healthy walking taken from the literature. The second controller includes artificial torque and angular primitives that, through proper recombination, generate the reference torque and angle patterns for both joints. It also integrates an artificial CPG implemented by an adaptive oscillator that continuously detects the locomotion parameters. The last controller incorporates an iterative learning mechanism implementing an inverse model for computing a prediction torque component for both joints. To validate the developed controllers, two experiments involved a transfemoral amputee walking on a treadmill, while a third experiment was performed with a simulated biped walker with a transfemoral amputation, as a first validation of the controller before its implementation on a real prosthesis.

Jury members :

  • Prof. Renaud Ronsse (UCLouvain), supervisor
  • Prof. Thomas Pardoen (UCLouvain), chairperson
  • Prof. Paul Fisette (UCLouvain), secretary
  • Prof. Dirk Lefeber (VUB, Belgium)
  • Prof. Silvia Tolu (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
  • Prof. Philippe Lefèvre (UCLouvain)

Pay attention :

The public defense of Sophie Heins scheduled for Thursday 21 January at 16:15 will take place in the form of a video conference Teams

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