Detection of the onset of gait initiation using kinematic sensors and EMG in transfemoral amputees

E.C. Wentink, V.G.H. Schut, E.C. Prinsen, J.S. Rietman, P.H. Veltink

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    In this study we determined if detection of the onset of gait initiation in transfemoral amputees can be useful for voluntary control of upper leg prostheses. From six transfemoral amputees inertial sensor data and EMG were measured at the prosthetic leg during gait initiation. First, initial movement was detected from the inertial sensor data. Subsequently it was determined whether EMG could predict initial movement before detection based on the inertial sensors with comparable consistency as the inertial sensors. From the inertial sensors the initial movement can be determined. If the prosthetic leg leads, the upper leg accelerometer data was able to detect initial movement best. If the intact leg leads the upper leg gyroscope data performed best. Inertial sensors at the upper leg in general showed detections at the same time or earlier than those at the lower leg. EMG can predict initial movement up to a 138 ms in advance, when the prosthetic leg leads. One subject showed consistent EMG onset up to 248 ms before initial movement in the intact leg leading condition. A new method to detect initial movement from inertial sensors was presented and can be useful for additional prosthetic control. EMG measured at the prosthetic leg can be used for prediction of gait initiation when the prosthetic leg is leading, but for the intact leg leading condition this will not be of additional value.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-396
    Number of pages6
    JournalGait & posture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Electromyography
    • Inertial Sensors
    • Intention detection
    • Transfemoral amputee
    • Gait initiation


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