A powered prosthetic ankle joint for walking and running

Martin Grimmer, Matthew Holgate, Robert Holgate, Alexander Boehler, Jeffrey Ward, Kevin Hollander, Thomas Sugar, André Seyfarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Current prosthetic ankle joints are designed either for walking or for running. In order to mimic the capabilities of an able-bodied, a powered prosthetic ankle for walking and running was designed. A powered system has the potential to reduce the limitations in range of motion and positive work output of passive walking and running feet. Methods: To perform the experiments a controller capable of transitions between standing, walking, and running with speed adaptations was developed. In the first case study the system was mounted on an ankle bypass in parallel with the foot of a non-amputee subject. By this method the functionality of hardware and controller was proven. Results: The Walk-Run ankle was capable of mimicking desired torque and angle trajectories in walking and running up to 2.6 m/s. At 4 m/s running, ankle angle could be matched while ankle torque could not. Limited ankle output power resulting from a suboptimal spring stiffness value was identified as a main reason. Conclusions: Further studies have to show to what extent the findings can be transferred to amputees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
StatePublished - Dec 19 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ankle
  • Joint
  • Power
  • Prosthesis
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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