Functional electrical stimulation can be used to enable spinal cord injured children to participate in cycling training as part of a fitness programme or exercise testing procedure. Exercise can reduce the impact of secondary health conditions due to the injury. Functional electrical stimulation has shown promising results in adults with a spinal cord injury, but additional considerations are needed to realise the method for the child with spinal cord injury, partly owing to their limited force producing capacity. An electric motor provides a practical means of performing cycling at controlled cadences, exercising for longer durations and can also be used for recreational outdoor cycling. Here, a novel real-time control technique is developed for cadence regulation during cycling. A feedback control structure is developed based on an empirical model derived from separate identification tests and pole placement and then verified in a series of reference-tracking tests. The system produced cadence responses in close agreement with reference values in all cases and demonstrated satisfactory robustness of stability characteristics. This approach moves towards the practical application of the technology as a training tool for paediatric spinal cord injured subjects.
Pennycott, A., & Hunt, K. J. (2010). Cadence control system for paediatric functional electrical stimulation cycling. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 5(3), 237-242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bspc.2010.04.001