Amputee locomotion can benefit from recent advances in robotic prostheses, but their control systems design poses challenges. Prosthesis control typically discretizes the nonlinear gait cycle into phases, with each phase controlled by different linear controllers. Unfortunately, real-time identification of gait phases and tuning of controller parameters limit implementation. Recently, biped robots have used phase variables and virtual constraints to characterize the gait cycle as a whole. Although phase variables and virtual constraints could solve issues with discretizing the gait cycle, the virtual constraints method from robotics does not readily translate to prosthetics because of hard-to-measure quantities, like the interaction forces between the user and prosthesis socket, and prosthesis parameters which are often altered by a clinician even for a known patient. We use the simultaneous stabilization approach to design a low-order, linear time-invariant controller for ankle prostheses independent of such quantities to enforce a virtual constraint. We show in simulation that this controller produces suitable walking gaits for a simplified amputee model.

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