The quality of life of many people is lowered by impediments to walking ability caused by neurological conditions such as strokes. Since the ankle joint plays an important role in locomotion, it is a common subject of study in rehabilitation research. Robotic devices such as active ankle-foot orthoses and powered exoskeletons have the potential to be used directly in physical therapy or indirectly in research pursuing more effective rehabilitation methods. This paper presents the LiTREAD, a lightweight three degree-of-freedom robotic exoskeletal ankle device. This novel robotic system is designed to be worn on a user's leg and actuate the foot position during treadmill studies. The robot's sagittal plane actuation is complemented by passive virtual axis systems in the frontal and transverse planes. Together, these degrees of freedom allow the device to approximate the full range of motion of the ankle. The virtual axis mechanisms feature locking configurations that will allow the effect of these degrees of freedom on gait dynamics to be studied. Based on a kinematic analysis of the robot's actuation and geometry, it is expected to meet and exceed its torque and speed targets, respectively. The device will fit either leg of a range of subject sizes, and is expected to weigh just 1.3 kg (2.9 lb.). These features and characteristics are designed to minimize the robot's interference with the natural walking motion. Pending validation studies confirming that all design criteria have been met, the LiTREAD prototype that has been constructed will be utilized in various experiments investigating properties of the ankle such as its mechanical impedance. It is hoped that the LiTREAD will yield valuable data that will expand our knowledge of the ankle and aid in the design of future lower-extremity devices.