This paper reports preliminary results on the effects of ankle muscle fatigue on ankle mechanical impedance. The experiment was designed to induce fatigue in the Tibialis Anterior and Triceps Surae muscle group by asking subjects to perform isometric contractions against a constant ankle torque generated by the Anklebot, a backdriveable robot that interacts with the ankle in two degrees of freedom. Median frequencies of surface electromyographic signals collected from Tibialis Anterior and Triceps Surae muscle group were evaluated to assess muscle fatigue. Using a standard multi-input and multi-output stochastic impedance identification method, multivariable ankle mechanical impedance was measured in two degrees of freedom under muscle fatigue. Preliminary results indicate that, for both Tibialis Anterior and Triceps Surae muscle group, ankle mechanical impedance decreases in both the dorsi-plantarflexion and inversion-eversion directions under muscle fatigue. This finding suggests that decreasing ankle impedance with muscle fatigue may help to develop joint support systems to prevent ankle injuries caused by muscle fatigue.

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