The EPIC Lab is focused on the design and control of prosthetic and orthotic systems. There are currently three ongoing projects in the EPIC Lab: a dual actuated knee ankle prosthesis, and a powered hip exoskeleton. These projects are aimed at developing clinically translatable research that can be deployed in the future. More details about each project are outlined below.
Dual Actuated Knee Ankle Prosthesis
Individuals with transfemoral amputation are subjected to higher levels of exertion when using energetically passive prostheses. Powered prostheses have been proven to reduce this increased metabolic expenditure. The powered prosthesis being developed by the EPIC Lab uses two motors to provide powered torsion about the prosthetic knee and ankle.
Some future research questions will include how to extract user intent from human subjects and how to use this user intent to control the prosthesis. An especially interesting research question is how to transition between different ambulation modes using user intent.
Graduate Student Lab Members: Jonathan Camargo, Krishan Bhakta
Collaborators: Dr. Aaron Ames, Dr. Lee Childers, Robert Kistenberg, Eric Ambrose, Rachel Gehlhar, Maegan Tucker
Powered Hip Exoskeleton
EPIC Lab is currently in development of an exoskeleton device for hip assistance in lower limb movement. This device will be comprised with powered assistance in hip flexion/extension as well as passive joint for free movement in hip ab/adduction. Device will utilize series elastic actuator using a fiberglass leaf spring for more precise torque control. A novel high level controller will be embedded to the exoskeleton device with several different mechanical sensors on the device for user independent intent recognition in different gait modes(stairs, ramps, ground level). The device will be used on wide range of users from healthy subjects to patients with gait deficiencies.
Graduate Student Lab Members: Inseung Kang, Jeff Hsu, Stella Thai, Ana Groff
Collaborators: Dr. Geza Kogler, Dr. Stephen Sprigle
Pediatric Knee Exoskeleton
The purpose of the Pediatric Knee Exoskeleton device is to improve the knee biomechanics of children with pathological gait such as Genu Recurvatum and crouch gait. This device will assist with knee flexion and extension using a PID controller system to provide varying levels of power or torque. A brushless EC motor and 113:1 gearhead will be used to provide the torque. A high level controller will utilize force sensitive resistors to distinguish between the different phases of the gait cycle the user is in.
Graduate Student Lab Members: Dawit Lee, Eun Chan Kwak
Collaborators: Dr. Geza Kogler, Dr. Benjamin Rogozinski, Dr. Erin Eggebrecht