This paper describes in detail the fabrication of an instrumented walkway for estimation of the ankle mechanical impedance in both dorsiflexion-plantarflexion (DP) and in inversion-eversion (IE) directions during walking in arbitrary directions and standing. The platform consists of two linear actuators, each capable of generating ±351.3 N peak force that are mechanically coupled to a force plate using Bowden cables. The applied forces cause the force plate to rotate in two degrees of freedom (DOF) and transfer torques to the human ankle to generate DP and IE rotations. The relative rotational motion of the foot with respect to the shin is recorded using a motion capture camera system while the forces applied to the foot are measured with the force plate, from which the torques applied to the ankle are calculated. The analytical methods required for the estimation of the ankle torques, rotations, and impedances are presented. To validate the system, a mockup with known stiffness was used, and it was shown that the developed system was capable of properly estimating the stiffness of the mockup in two DOF with less than 5% error. Also, a preliminary experiment with a human subject in standing position was performed, and the estimated quasi-static impedance of the ankle was estimated at 319 Nm/rad in DP and 119 Nm/rad in IE.

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