Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Voglewede, Philip A.

Second Advisor

Schimmels, Joseph M.

Third Advisor

Craig, Kevin C.


A powered lower limb prosthesis, which consists of a four bar mechanism, a torsional spring and a brushed DC motor, was previously designed and fabricated. To regulate the motor power input, a two level controller was proposed and built. The control algorithm includes a higher level finite state controller and lower level PID controllers. To implement the control system, a digital signal processor (DSP) control board and MATLAB Simulink were used to realize the higher level control and a DC motor controller was used to realize the lower level PID control. Sensors were selected to provide the required feedback. The entire control system was implemented on a convenient to carry backpack. Amputee subject testing was performed to obtain some experimental verification of the design. The results showed that the control system performed consistently with the designed control algorithm and did assist in the amputee’s walking. Compared to a currently available powered prosthesis, this control is simple in structure and able to mimic the nonlinear behavior of the ankle closely.