Estimation of the walking speed of individuals with transfemoral amputation from a single prosthetic shank-mounted IMU
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
Microprocessor prosthetic knees, able to restore the gait of people with transfemoral amputation, are now often equipped with sensors embedded in the prosthetic shank, which could be used to assess some gait characteristics during real-life activities. In particular, an estimation of the walking speed during the locomotion of those subjects would be a relevant indicator of the performance. However, if methods have already been proposed in the literature to compute this walking speed, none are directly usable in this context and with this population. For these reasons, the current study proposed to estimate the instantaneous walking speed with a shank-embedded Inertial Measurement Units based on a biomechanical model of the prosthetic lower limb. Averaged walking speed estimation has been quantified for nine individuals with transfemoral amputation walking on a treadmill at different speeds and slopes when wearing an instrumented knee ankle prosthesis. Experimental results demonstrated the ability of the model to estimate the walking speed with an accuracy of 9% (normalized root mean squared errors over all the patients), which is consistent with previous reported walking speed estimation errors. In addition, as the walking speed estimation is instantaneous, the proposed method can provide the estimation by the end of the stance phase, which is an originality compared to other methods based on step length estimation. The present method is relevant for the estimation of walking speed during real-life activities of above-knee amputees opening the way to direct activity monitoring from the prosthesis.
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