The startup company NextStep Robotics has created a cutting-edge solution by developing a portable ankle robot (AMBLE) to alleviate and, in some cases, treat foot drop.


The AMBLE is a powered ankle exoskeleton. It doesn’t follow the body’s contours but sits in front of the leg. This type of non-anthropomorphic design is a less common approach to exoskeletons but a perfectly valid one.

Falling down is a common source of injury, especially among stroke survivors and the elderly. Many of these falls are caused by foot drop or the inability to raise the foot during a step, causing the toe to catch and drag. To mitigate this, there are ankle-foot orthoses and elastic and rigid braces on the market.  NextStep Robotics is offering an alternative, a wearable robot with impeded sensors and controls.

The AMBLE is meant to be used under supervision by a trained physical therapist(s) in an appropriate clinical setting. The powered exo assists with taking multiple consistent steps to stimulate neuroplasticity and help the brain relearn and normalize the user’s gait.

NextStep Robotics, University of Maryland BioPark, 800 West Baltimore St, Suite 151, Baltimore MD, 21201, website

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