Virtual Muscle Simulation
Powered prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons are actuated by single-joint electric motors without the mechanical properties of muscles. Muscles themselves are actuators with nonlinear properties and internal dynamics and can actuate multiple joints simultaneously. If the torque produced by the electric motors of these powered prosthesis can be controlled with "virtual muscles", then the resultant movement would mimic the actual mechanical and dynamical properties of the human system. The goal is to simulate these virtual muscles in computer software, test on a single-joint demonstration at the knee, and ultimately control the Parker Indego exoskeleton using muscle control at the hip and knee joints.