Biomechatronics, Assistive Devices, Gait Engineering, and Rehabilitation Laboratory

Wearable Sensors in Orthotics

About This Study

Interventions for mobility problems, such as drop-foot, include many products and rehabilitation strategies, but there is little sound information about how different treatment options affect individuals’ movement in their daily lives. This study compares the effects of different orthotic solutions for drop-foot on the quality of walking movement. Participants will use multiple different orthoses for up to several weeks. During at-home use participants will wear a set of advanced wearable sensors that monitor your movement and location. The researchers will use this information to determine how different orthoses can best help improve mobility for different people. 

Participants will have the opportunity to use two different orthotic solutions, a functional electrical stimulation system and a carbon fiber ankle-foot orthosis.


In order to collect data for our study, participants will wear three sensors, shown below. One connected to the orthotic solutions shown above and one on each of their shoes, in a pouch connected to their shoe laces.

Participants will also be asked to install an app onto their phones in order to log their GPS location. The app will store location data locally on the phone and the research team will download the log at the end of the study.

Before Signing up

Here are some things to keep in mind before signing up to participate in our study:

  • For the duration of the study you will be asked to wear the same pair of shoes. Even if you have various pairs of the same style of shoe, we ask that you use the same exact pair so that the sensors aren’t moved from shoe to shoe.
  • For the duration of the study you will be asked to wear the devices shown above for the majority of your day, keep this in mind when considering work uniforms, etc.
  • Your participation will provide data that will help prescribe helpful orthotic solutions to future patients with drop-foot!

How-to Videos

How to put on the instrumented L300-Go:

Reminder before your lab visit

  • Please wear tight fitting shorts & shirt and the same lace-up athletic shoes that you wore to your fitting appointment with James.
  •  Please remember to avoid food or drinks other than water for four hours prior to your appointment, and avoid caffeine for the entire day before your appointment.
  • Bring a water bottle.
  • Bring any and all study devices, sensors and chargers.

When you arrive

  • The appointment will take place at the UW Madison Mechanical Engineering building.
  • A team member will meet you at 1525 Engineering Drive (see red star) where you can park your car.