Toward Unified Control of a Powered Prosthetic Leg: A Simulation Study

David Quintero, Anne E. Martin, Robert D. Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This brief presents a novel control strategy for a powered knee-ankle prosthesis that unifies the entire gait cycle, eliminating the need to switch between controllers during different periods of gait. A reduced-order discrete Fourier transformation (DFT) is used to define virtual constraints that continuously parameterize periodic joint patterns as functions of a mechanical phasing variable. In order to leverage the provable stability properties of hybrid zero dynamics (HZD), hybrid-invariant Bézier polynomials are converted into unified DFT virtual constraints for various walking speeds. Simulations of an amputee biped model show that the unified prosthesis controller approximates the behavior of the original HZD design under ideal scenarios and has advantages over the HZD design when hybrid invariance is violated by mismatches with the human controller. Two implementations of the unified virtual constraints, a feedback linearizing controller, and a more practical joint impedance controller produce similar results in simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7819479
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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