Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are used to ameliorate lower-limb neuromuscular impairments in gait. In this article, we present a novel portable powered AFO (PPAFO) to provide untethered assistance for daily at-home rehabilitation treatment. The PPAFO provides torque assistance with a bidirectional pneumatic rotary actuator. We collected experimental data from one impaired and three nondisabled subjects to demonstrate design functionality. Data from nondisabled walkers demonstrated that the PPAFO provided correctly timed assistance. Additionally, data from the impaired walker demonstrated that the PPAFO provided functional plantar flexor assistance. The PPAFO opens opportunities for new orthotic and clinical treatment strategies.
Volume 48 Number 4, 2011
Pages 459 — 472
Last Reviewed or Updated Friday, May 13, 2011 9:18 AM