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Identification of electrically-stimulated muscle and feedback design for control of unsupported standing and cycling in paraplegia

When a person sustains a complete lesion of the spinal cord at thoracic level (in the back) the result is paralysis of the lower limbs. In general, however, the paralysed muscles retain their ability to contract. If so, muscle contraction and joint movement may be induced by activation of the motor nerves using low levels of pulsed electrical current: this is known as functional electrical stimulation (FES). In this lecture I will present the results of basic research into the nonlinear dynamic properties of electrically-stimulated muscle, and the design of feedback strategies for robust control of muscle contraction. I will also describe an experimental programme of clinical work, involving paraplegic subjects, which has three main aspects: (i) development and testing of feedback systems for control of unsupported standing; (ii) strategies for integration of intact upper-body posture stabilisation capabilities with artificial control of the lower limbs; and (iii) engineering design and control development of recumbent tricycling systems for lower-limb FES cycling.

Type of Seminar:
Minisymposium on Analysis and Control of Dynamical Systems
Prof. Ken Hunt
Centre for Systems and Control Glasgow University, Scotland
Dec 20, 2000   09:15

ETH Zurich, Building VAW, Room B1, Gloriastrasse 37-39, 8006 Zurich
Contact Person:

Prof. M. Morari
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Biographical Sketch:
Ken Hunt is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Convenor of the Centre for Systems and Control at Glasgow University. He is also a Clinical Research Professor at the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital. The focus of his research is on the development of nonlinear control theory, and applications of nonlinear modelling and control to practical problems in rehabilitation engineering and automotive systems. Ken Hunt took up his current post at Glasgow University in January 1998. Previously he was a research engineer and project manager with Daimler-Benz Research in Berlin (1992--1997). From 1989--1992 he held a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship, and during that period was with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. From 1987--1989 he was a Research Scientist with BBN Systems and Technologies (the European division of Bolt, Beranek and Newman Inc.). Professor Hunt obtained a 1st class honours BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1984 and a PhD in Control Theory in 1987, both from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. A Chartered Engineer,he is a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and a member of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers. He was founding chairman of IFAC's recently formed Technical Committee on Fuzzy and Neural Systems (1996--1999), and is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.