Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Mohammad Rastgaar

Committee Member 1

Jason R. Blough

Committee Member 2

Kenton Kaufman

Committee Member 3

Nina Mahmoudian

Committee Member 4

Gordon G. Parker


The main goal of the research presented in this paper is the development of a powered ankle-foot prosthesis with anthropomorphic characteristics to facilitate turning, walking on irregular grounds, and reducing secondary injuries on bellow knee amputees. The research includes the study of the gait in unimpaired human subjects that includes the kinetics and kinematics of the ankle during different types of gait, in different gait speeds at different turning maneuvers. The development of a robotic ankle-foot prosthesis with two active degrees of freedom (DOF) controlled using admittance and impedance controllers is presented. Also, a novel testing apparatus for estimation of the ankle mechanical impedance in two DOF is presented. The testing apparatus allows the estimation of the time-varying impedance of the human ankle in stance phase during walking in arbitrary directions. The presented work gives insight on the turning mechanisms of the human ankle and how they can be mimicked by the prosthesis to improve the gait and agility of below-knee amputees.