Robotic ankle control can provide appropriate assistance throughout the gait cycle in healthy adults

Kei Nakagawa, Keita Higashi, Akari Ikeda, Naoto Kadono, Eiichiro Tanaka, Louis Yuge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ankle foot orthoses are mainly applied to provide stability in the stance phase and adequate foot clearance in the swing phase; however, they do not sufficiently assist during the entire gait cycle. On the other hand, robotic-controlled orthoses can provide mechanical assistance throughout the phases of the gait cycle. This study investigated the effect of ankle control throughout the gait cycle using an ankle joint walking assistive device under five different robotic assistance conditions: uncontrolled, dorsiflexion, and plantar flexion controlled at high and low speeds in the initial loading phase. Compared with the no-control condition, the plantar flexion condition enhanced knee extension and delayed the timing of ankle dorsiflexion in the stance phase; however, the opposite effect occurred under the dorsiflexion condition. Significant differences in the trailing limb angle and minimum toe clearance were also observed, although the same assistance was applied from the mid-stance phase to the initial swing phase. Ankle assistance in the initial loading phase affected the knee extension and ankle dorsiflexion angle during the stance phase. The smooth weight shift obtained might have a positive effect on lifting the limb during the swing phase. Robotic ankle control may provide appropriate assistance throughout the gait cycle according to individual gait ability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number993939
JournalFrontiers in Neurorobotics
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sep 27

Keywords

  • ankle joint
  • gait
  • kinematic analysis
  • rocker function
  • walking assistive device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

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