Application of wearable sensors in actuation and control of powered ankle exoskeletons: a Comprehensive Review

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Kian, Azadeh ORCID: 0000-0003-1724-790X, Widanapathirana, Giwantha ORCID: 0000-0003-3576-6818, Joseph, Anna M ORCID: 0000-0002-6529-974X, Lai, Tze Huel ORCID: 0000-0003-3459-7709 and Begg, Rezaul ORCID: 0000-0002-3195-8591 (2022) Application of wearable sensors in actuation and control of powered ankle exoskeletons: a Comprehensive Review. Sensors, 22 (6). ISSN 1424-8220


Powered ankle exoskeletons (PAEs) are robotic devices developed for gait assistance, rehabilitation, and augmentation. To fulfil their purposes, PAEs vastly rely heavily on their sensor systems. Human–machine interface sensors collect the biomechanical signals from the human user to inform the higher level of the control hierarchy about the user’s locomotion intention and requirement, whereas machine–machine interface sensors monitor the output of the actuation unit to ensure precise tracking of the high-level control commands via the low-level control scheme. The current article aims to provide a comprehensive review of how wearable sensor technology has contributed to the actuation and control of the PAEs developed over the past two decades. The control schemes and actuation principles employed in the reviewed PAEs, as well as their interaction with the integrated sensor systems, are investigated in this review. Further, the role of wearable sensors in overcoming the main challenges in developing fully autonomous portable PAEs is discussed. Finally, a brief discussion on how the recent technology advancements in wearable sensors, including environment—machine interface sensors, could promote the future generation of fully autonomous portable PAEs is provided.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/s22062244
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4003 Biomedical engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords wearable sensors, monitors, powered ankle exoskeletons, PAEs, robotics
Citations in Scopus 3 - View on Scopus
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