Optimal Design of a Transfemoral Prosthesis with Energy Storage and Regeneration

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Control Conference


We describe the preliminary optimal design of an electromechanical above-knee active prosthesis with energy storage and regeneration. A DC motor-generator applies a positive or negative torque to the knee. The control system regulates the exchange of energy between the motor-generator and a supercapacitor. The central idea of the design is motivated by the mechanics, energy management, and sensor-based control that constitute human movement. We use biogeography-based optimization, which is an evolutionary algorithm, to optimize the system parameters, and we evaluate its performance with Simulink® models. We optimize three alternative prosthesis designs. Simulation results indicate that the prosthesis can be optimized to achieve knee angle tracking with an RMS error on the order of 0.2 degrees.


This work was supported by Grant 0826124 in the CMMI Division of the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation and by the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering for the State of Ohio.

Original Citation

R. Rarick, H. Richter, A. van den Bogert, D. Simon, H. Warner and T. Barto, "Optimal design of a transfemoral prosthesis with energy storage and regeneration," in 2014 American Control Conference, 2014, pp. 4108-4113.