Advances in powered ankle–foot prostheses

Erik Chumacero, Abdullah Al Masud, Doruk Isik, Chwan Li Shen, Ming Chien Chyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a review of recent developments in poweredankle-foot prostheses (PAFPs), with emphasis on actuation, high-and low-level control strategies, and pneumatic, hydraulic, and electromechanical actuators. A high-level control strategy based on finite-state machines, combined with low-level control that drives the ankle torque, is the most common control strategy. On the other hand, brushless direct-current motors along with an energy storage and release mechanism are commonly used to reduce the overall size of the actuators and increase PAFP autonomy. Most designs have been evaluated experimentally, showing acceptable results in walking velocity and gait symmetry. Future research must focus on reducing weight, increasing energy efficiency, improving gait phase classification and/or intent of motion-prediction algorithms, updating low-level control of torque and position, and developing the ability of the patient to walk on sloped surfaces and negotiate stairs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-200
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Actuators
  • Control
  • Powered ankle-foot prostheses


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