Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 572094, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/572094
Research Article

An SMA Passive Ankle Foot Orthosis: Design, Modeling, and Experimental Evaluation

1Dynamic and Smart Systems Laboratory, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
2Ecole Supérieure des Sciences et Technologies de l’Ingénieur de Nancy (ESSTIN), Nancy, Lorraine, France
3Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

Received 8 January 2014; Revised 17 April 2014; Accepted 22 April 2014; Published 2 June 2014

Academic Editor: Yanjun Zheng

Copyright © 2014 Liberty Deberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) provide compact and effective actuation for a variety of mechanical systems. In this work, the distinguished superelastic behavior of these materials is utilized to develop a passive ankle foot orthosis to address the drop foot disability. Design, modeling, and experimental evaluation of an SMA orthosis employed in an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) are presented in this paper. To evaluate the improvements achieved with this new device, a prototype is fabricated and motion analysis is performed on a drop foot patient. Results are presented to demonstrate the performance of the proposed orthosis.