This article presents the results of two in-vivo studies providing measurements of human static ankle mechanical impedance. Accurate measurements of ankle impedance when muscles were voluntarily activated were obtained using a therapeutic robot, Anklebot, and an electromyographic recording system. Important features of ankle impedance, and their variation with muscle activity, are discussed, including magnitude, symmetry and directions of minimum and maximum impedance. Voluntary muscle activation has a significant impact on ankle impedance, increasing it by up to a factor of three in our experiments. Furthermore, significant asymmetries and deviations from a linear two-spring model are present in many subjects, indicating that ankle impedance has a complex and individually idiosyncratic structure. We propose the use of Fourier series as a general representation, providing both insight and a precise quantitative characterization of human static ankle impedance.

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