This article compares stochastic estimates of human ankle mechanical impedance when ankle muscles were fully relaxed and co-contracting antagonistically. We employed Anklebot, a rehabilitation robot for the ankle to provide torque perturbations. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to monitor muscle activation levels and these EMG signals were displayed to subjects who attempted to maintain them constant. Time histories of ankle torques and angles in the lateral/medial (LM) directions were recorded. The results also compared with the ankle impedance in inversion-eversion (IE) and dorsiflexion-plantarflexion (DP). Linear time-invariant transfer functions between the measured torques and angles were estimated for the Anklebot alone and when a human subject wore it; the difference between these functions provided an estimate of ankle mechanical impedance. High coherence was observed over a frequency range up to 30 Hz. The main effect of muscle activation was to increase the magnitude of ankle mechanical impedance in all degrees of freedom of ankle.

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