The purpose of this study was to design a new automated stiffness measurement device which could perform a simultaneous measurement of both dorsi-and plantarflexion angles and the corresponding resistive torque around the rotational centre of an articulated ankle-foot orthosis (AAFO). This was achieved by controlling angular velocities and range of motion in the sagittal plane. The device consisted of a hydraulic servo fatigue testing machine, a torque meter, a potentiometer, a rotary plate and an upright supporter to enable an AAFO to be attached to the device via a surrogate shank. The accuracy of the device in reproducing the range of motion and angular velocity was within 4 and 1 respectively in the range of motion of 30° (15° plantarflexion to 15° dorsiflexion) at the angular velocity of 10°/s, while that in the measurement of AAFO torque was within 8 at the 0° position. The device should prove useful to assist an orthotist or a manufacturer to quantify the stiffness of an AAFO and inform its clinical use.
- Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)
- mechanical test
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)