Gait initiation in transfemoral amputees (TFA) is different from non-amputees. This is mainly caused by the lack of stability and push-off from the prosthetic leg. Adding control and artificial push-off to the prosthesis may therefore be beneficial to TFA. In this study the feasibility of real-time intention detection of gait initiation was determined by mimicking the TFA situation in non-amputees. EMG and inertial sensor data was measured in 10 nonamputees. Only data available in TFA was used to determine if gait initiation can be predicted in time to control a transfemoral prosthesis to generate push-off and stability. Toe-off and heel-strike of the leading limb are important parameters to be detected, to control a prosthesis and to time push-off. The results show that toe-off and heel-strike of the leading limb can be detected using EMG and kinematic data in non-amputees 130–260 ms in advance. This leaves enough time to control a prosthesis. Based on these results we hypothesize that similar results can be found in TFA, allowing for adequate control of a prosthesis during gait initiation.
- Intention detection
- Gait initiation