skip to main content

Title: Determining the domain of stable human sit-to-stand motions via controlled invariant sets and backward reachability
Falls during sit-to-stand are a common cause of injury. The ability to perform this movement with ease is itself correlated with a lower likelihood of falling. However, a rigorous mathematical understanding of stability during sit-to-stand does not currently exist, particularly in different environments and under different movement control strategies. Having the means to isolate the different factors contributing to instability during sit-to-stand could have great clinical utility, guiding the treatment of fall-prone individuals. In this work, we show that the region of stable human movement during sit-to-stand can be formulated as the backward reachable set of a controlled invariant target, even under state-dependent input constraints representing variability in the environment. This region represents the ‘best-case’ boundaries of stable sit-to-stand motion. We call this the stabilizable region and show that it can be easily computed using existing backward reachability tools. Using a dataset of humans performing sit-to-stand under perturbations, we also demonstrate that the controlled invariance and backward reachability approach is better able to differentiate between a true loss of stability versus a change in control strategy, as compared with other methods.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 7
Medium: X
Bucharest, Romania
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The maintenance of upright posture involves constant adjustment to external and internal perturbations. This balancing act is often assumed to be an automatic process, but studies suggest that cognitive processes, parti- cularly attention, are necessary for the control of posture. The current study examines the role of attention in balance using a dual-task paradigm. Twenty-four healthy young adults performed a sit-to-stand (STS) task on either a stable or unstable platform while performing a secondary cognitive task of counting backwards aloud. Movement of the upper and lower body was analyzed using the largest Lyapunov exponent (λ1) and standard deviation (SD). Results replicated earlier ndings (Gibbons, Amazeen, & Likens, 2018) that the transition from sit to stand was marked by increased variability and a temporary destabilization of postural control. Participants exhibited greater movement variability overall on the unstable platform (large SD), but small λ1 indicated that movement was controlled. During second task performance, SD increased for the upper body only. Further research is necessary to understand the interaction between attention and balance in young adults. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Falls affect a growing number of the population each year. Clinical methods to assess fall risk usually evaluate the performance of specific motions such as balancing or Sit-to-Stand. Unfortunately, these techniques have been shown to have poor predictive power, and are unable to identify the portions of motion that are most unstable. To this end, it may be useful to identify the set of body configurations that can accomplish a task under a specified control strategy. The resulting strategy-specific boundary between stable and unstable motion could be used to identify individuals at risk of falling. The recently proposed Stability Basin is defined as the set of configurations through time that do not lead to failure for an individual under their chosen control strategy. This paper presents a novel method to compute the Stability Basin and the first experimental validation of the Stability Basin with a perturbative Sit-to-Stand experiment involving forwards or backwards pulls from a motor-driven cable with 11 subjects. The individually-constructed Stability Basins are used to identify when a trial fails, i.e. when an individual must switch from their chosen control strategy (indicated by a step or sit) to recover from a perturbation. The constructed Stability Basins correctly predict the outcome of trials where failure was observed with over 90 % accuracy, and correctly predict the outcome of successful trials with over 95 % accuracy. The Stability Basin was compared to three other methods and was found to estimate the stable region with over 45 % more accuracy in all cases. This study demonstrates that Stability Basins offer a novel model-based approach for quantifying stability during motion, which could be used in physical therapy for individuals at risk of falling. 
    more » « less
  3. Although the average healthy adult transitions from sit to stand over 60 times per day, most research on powered prosthesis control has only focused on walking. In this paper, we present a data-driven controller that enables sitting, standing, and walking with minimal tuning. Our controller comprises two high level modes of sit/stand and walking, and we develop heuristic biomechanical rules to control transitions. We use a phase variable based on the user's thigh angle to parameterize both walking and sit/stand motions, and use variable impedance control during ground contact and position control during swing. We extend previous work on data-driven optimization of continuous impedance parameter functions to design the sit/stand control mode using able-bodied data. Experiments with a powered knee-ankle prosthesis used by a participant with above-knee amputation demonstrate promise in clinical outcomes, as well as trade-offs between our minimal-tuning approach and accommodation of user preferences. Specifically, our controller enabled the participant to complete the sit/stand task 20% faster and reduced average asymmetry by half compared to his everyday passive prosthesis. The controller also facilitated a timed up and go test involving sitting, standing, walking, and turning, with only a mild (10%) decrease in speed compared to the everyday prosthesis. Our sit/stand/walk controller enables multiple activities of daily life with minimal tuning and mode switching. 
    more » « less
  4. Task-specific, trajectory-based control methods commonly used in exoskeletons may be appropriate for individuals with paraplegia, but they overly constrain the volitional motion of individuals with remnant voluntary ability (representing a far larger population). Human-exoskeleton systems can be represented in the form of the Euler-Lagrange equations or, equivalently, the port-controlled Hamiltonian equations to design control laws that provide task-invariant assistance across a continuum of activities/environments by altering energetic properties of the human body. We previously introduced a port-controlled Hamiltonian framework that parameterizes the control law through basis functions related to gravitational and gyroscopic terms, which are optimized to fit normalized able-bodied joint torques across multiple walking gaits on different ground inclines. However, this approach did not have the flexibility to reproduce joint torques for a broader set of activities, including stair climbing and stand-to-sit, due to strict assumptions related to input-output passivity, which ensures the human remains in control of energy growth in the closed-loop dynamics. To provide biomimetic assistance across all primary activities of daily life, this paper generalizes this energy shaping framework by incorporating vertical ground reaction forces and global planar orientation into the basis set, while preserving passivity between the human joint torques and human joint velocities. We present an experimental implementation on a powered knee-ankle exoskeleton used by three able-bodied human subjects during walking on various inclines, ramp ascent/descent, and stand-to-sit, demonstrating the versatility of this control approach and its effect on muscular effort. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Background After above-knee amputation, the missing biological knee and ankle are replaced with passive prosthetic devices. Passive prostheses are able to dissipate limited amounts of energy using resistive damper systems during “negative energy” tasks like sit-down. However, passive prosthetic knees are not able to provide high levels of resistance at the end of the sit-down movement when the knee is flexed, and users need the most support. Consequently, users are forced to over-compensate with their upper body, residual hip, and intact leg, and/or sit down with a ballistic and uncontrolled movement. Powered prostheses have the potential to solve this problem. Powered prosthetic joints are controlled by motors, which can produce higher levels of resistance at a larger range of joint positions than passive damper systems. Therefore, powered prostheses have the potential to make sitting down more controlled and less difficult for above-knee amputees, improving their functional mobility. Methods Ten individuals with above-knee amputations sat down using their prescribed passive prosthesis and a research powered knee-ankle prosthesis. Subjects performed three sit-downs with each prosthesis while we recorded joint angles, forces, and muscle activity from the intact quadricep muscle. Our main outcome measures were weight-bearing symmetry and muscle effort of the intact quadricep muscle. We performed paired t-tests on these outcome measures to test for significant differences between passive and powered prostheses. Results We found that the average weight-bearing symmetry improved by 42.1% when subjects sat down with the powered prosthesis compared to their passive prostheses. This difference was significant (p = 0.0012), and every subject’s weight-bearing symmetry improved when using the powered prosthesis. Although the intact quadricep muscle contraction differed in shape, neither the integral nor the peak of the signal was significantly different between conditions (integral p > 0.01, peak p > 0.01). Conclusions In this study, we found that a powered knee-ankle prosthesis significantly improved weight-bearing symmetry during sit-down compared to passive prostheses. However, we did not observe a corresponding decrease in intact-limb muscle effort. These results indicate that powered prosthetic devices have the potential to improve balance during sit-down for individuals with above-knee amputation and provide insight for future development of powered prosthetics. 
    more » « less