The Mechanical Design and Analysis of an Active Prosthetic Knee
In a world of war and turmoil in developing nations, land mines are becoming a concern, as millions of them are scattered in countries all over the world. Moreover, land mine prevention programs cannot clear land mine fields as fast as they are detonated each day. As a result, there are thousands that fall victim each year. There is immense demand for newer technologies to replace the aging prostheses used in these war torn nations. The active prosthetic knee (APK) design project is a novel design that utilizes simple, robust one degree of freedom (DOF) mechanics, while providing fully active knee torque control. The APK utilizes a high-speed brushed servomotor, providing the necessary torque and dynamics to provide the necessary gait characteristics of human locomotion. The main research contributions of this thesis are: 1) the mechanics and 2) the intelligence of the APK. This thesis investigates and highlights the prosthetic’s design process. The human biological system is studied and used as the design criteria when designing the device. Anthropometric data was used to determine the sizing and other physical properties. Moreover, Adaptive-Network-based Fuzzy-Interference Systems (ANFIS) and Fuzzy Interference Systems (FIS) are used to provide control to the APK. Finite element analysis (FEA) verifies the structural integrity of the APK. Four simulations are analyzed: equivalent stress, equivalent strain, shear stress and total deformation. These four simulations provide a mathematical interpretation of the physical system. We found that the first prototype, although a sound design, can be further improved to allow greater loading capabilities. Moreover, cyclical loading and total life cycles would also be significantly improved. A modular test stand is also designed and prototyped to allow APK testing. Since the APK prototype cannot be immediately placed on a human test subject, the test stand allows for experimentation in replicating human gait cycles.