Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) induces muscle contractions via electrical stimuli. NMES can be used for rehabilitation and to enable functional movements; however, a fundamental limitation is the early onset of fatigue. Asynchronous stimulation is a method that can reduce fatigue by utilizing multiple stimulation channels to segregate and switch between different sets of recruited motor units. However, switching between stimulation channels is challenging due to each channel's differing response to stimulation. To address this challenge, a switched systems analysis is used in the present work to design a controller that allows for instantaneous switching between stimulation channels. The developed controller yields semi-global exponential tracking of a desired angular trajectory for a person's knee-joint. Experiments were conducted in six able-bodied individuals. Compared to conventional stimulation, the results indicate that asynchronous stimulation with the developed controller yields longer durations of successful tracking despite different responses between the stimulation channels.
- Asynchronous stimulation
- functional electrical stimulation (FES)
- neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
- nonlinear control
- switched systems