Seamless and intuitive control of a powered prosthetic leg using deep neural network for transfemoral amputees

Minjae Kim, Ann M. Simon, Levi J. Hargrove*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Powered prosthetic legs are becoming a promising option for amputee patients. However, developing safe, robust, and intuitive control strategies for powered legs remains one of the greatest challenges. Although a variety of control strategies have been proposed, creating and fine-tuning the system parameters is time-intensive and complicated when more activities need to be restored. In this study, we developed a deep neural network (DNN) model that facilitates seamless and intuitive gait generation and transitions across five ambulation modes: Level-ground walking, ascending/descending ramps, and ascending/descending stairs. The combination of latent and time sequence features generated the desired impedance parameters within the ambulation modes and allowed seamless transitions between ambulation modes. The model was applied to the open-source bionic leg and tested on unilateral transfemoral users. It achieved the overall coefficient of determination of 0.72 with the state machine-based impedance parameters in the offline testing session. In addition, users were able to perform in-laboratory ambulation modes with an overall success rate of 96% during the online testing session. The results indicate that the DNN model is a promising candidate for subject-independent and tuning-free prosthetic leg control for transfemoral amputees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere24
JournalWearable Technologies
StatePublished - Sep 28 2022


  • ambulation modes
  • an open-source bionic leg
  • deep learning
  • impedance control
  • prosthetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Biomedical Engineering


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