Experimental evaluation of a portable powered ankle-foot orthosis.

Kenneth A. Shorter, Yifan Li, Emily A. Morris, Géza F. Kogler, Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) ameliorate the impact of impairments to the lower limb neuromuscular motor system that affect gait. Emerging technologies provide a vision for fully powered, untethered AFOs. The portable powered AFO (PPAFO) provides both plantarflexor and dorsiflexor torque assistance via a bi-directional pneumatic rotary actuator. The system uses a portable pneumatic power source (bottle of compressed CO(2)) and embedded electronics to control foot motion during level walking. Experimental data were collected to demonstrate functionality from two subjects with bilateral impairments to the lower legs. These data demonstrated the PPAFO's ability to provide functional assistance during gait. The stringent design requirements of light weight, small size, high efficiency and low noise make the creation of daily wear assist devices challenging; but once such devices appear, they will present new opportunities for clinical treatment of gait abnormalities.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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