Functional electrical stimulation (FES) and robotic exoskeletons are two important technologies widely used for physical rehabilitation of paraplegic patients. We developed a hybrid rehabilitation system (FEXO Knee) that combined FES and an exoskeleton for swinging movement control of human knee joints. This study proposed a novel cooperative control strategy, which could realize arbitrary distribution of torque generated by FES and exoskeleton, and guarantee harmonic movements. The cooperative control adopted feedfoward control for FES and feedback control for exoskeleton. A parameter regulator was designed to update key parameters in real time to coordinate FES controller and exoskeleton controller. Two muscle groups (quadriceps and hamstrings) were stimulated to generate active torque for knee joint in synchronization with torque compensation from exoskeleton. The knee joint angle and the interactive torque between exoskeleton and shank were used as feedback signals for the control system. Central pattern generator (CPG) was adopted that acted as a phase predictor to deal with phase confliction of motor patterns, and realized synchronization between the two different bodies (shank and exoskeleton). Experimental evaluation of the hybrid FES-exoskeleton system was conducted on five healthy subjects and four paraplegic patients. Experimental results and statistical analysis showed good control performance of the cooperative control on torque distribution, trajectory tracking, and phase synchronization.
|Journal||Frontiers in Neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Dec 2017|
- Central pattern generator
- Cooperative control
- Functional electrical stimulation
- Hybrid rehabilitation
- Knee exoskeleton
ASJC Scopus subject areas
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- Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering - Reader in Robotics Engineering
- UKRI CDT in Accountable, Responsible and Transparent AI
- Centre for Bioengineering & Biomedical Technologies (CBio)
Person: Research & Teaching, Core staff