Objectives: This paper describes further improvement and preliminarily evaluation of a novel viscoelastic ankle-foot prosthesis prototype. The objective was to control the ankle hysteresis at slow and normal walking speeds. Methods: Inspired by the ankle biomechanics, in which the hysteresis differs based on the gait speeds, a manually damping control mechanism imbedded in the prosthesis for adjusting the ankle damping at slow and normal walking speeds. The prototype was then preliminarily tested on an able-bodied subject wearing an adaptor which simulates the amputee walking. The ankle joint kinetics and kinematics were measured in a gait analysis lab at different walking speeds.
Results: The results suggest that the viscoelastic ankle foot prosthesis prototype could provide a smooth normal-like walking for most of the measured gait characteristics in slow and normal speeds.