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In IEEE transactions on cybernetics

Visual information is indispensable to human locomotion in complex environments. Although amputees can perceive the environmental information by eyes, they cannot transmit the neural signals to prostheses directly. To augment human-prosthesis interaction, this article introduces a subvision system that can perceive environments actively, assist to control the powered prosthesis predictively, and accordingly reconstruct a complete vision-locomotion loop for transfemoral amputees. By using deep learning, the subvision system can classify common static terrains (e.g., level ground, stairs, and ramps) and estimate corresponding motion intents of amputees with high accuracy (98%). After applying the subvision system to the locomotion control system, the powered prosthesis can help amputees to achieve nonrhythmic locomotion naturally, including switching between different locomotion modes and crossing the obstacle. The subvision system can also recognize dynamic objects, such as an unexpected obstacle approaching the amputee, and assist in generating an agile obstacle-avoidance reflex movement. The experimental results demonstrate that the subvision system can cooperate with the powered prosthesis to reconstruct a complete vision-locomotion loop, which enhances the environmental adaptability of the amputees.

Zhang Kuangen, Fu Chenglong, Luo Jianwen, Xiao Wentao, Zhang Wen, Liu Haiyuan, Zhu Jiale, Lu Zeyu, Rong Yiming, de Silva Clarence W