Technologies for powered ankle-foot orthotic systems: Possibilities and challenges

Kenneth Alex Shorter, Jicheng Xia, Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler, William K. Durfee, Géza F. Kogler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) can be used to ameliorate the impact of impairments to the lower limb neuromuscular motor system that affect gait. Existing AFO technologies include passive devices with fixed and articulated joints, semiactive devices that modulate damping at the joint, and active devices that make use of a variety of technologies to produce power to move the foot. Emerging technologies provide a vision for fully powered, untethered AFOs. However, the stringent design requirements of light weight, small size, high efficiency, and low noise present significant engineering challenges before such devices will be realized. Once such devices appear, they will present new opportunities for clinical treatment of gait abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6104405
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Active assist
  • ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)
  • fluid power
  • gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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