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Feedback regulation of hand grasp opening and contact force during stimulation of paralyzed muscle

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3 Author(s)
Crago, P.E. ; Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; Nakai, R.J. ; Chizeck, H.J.

A fixed-parameter, discrete-time, first-order, feedback control system is described for regulating grasp during electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles of the hand. The stiffness of the grasp (the relationship between grasp force and grasp opening) is kept constant by linearly combining force and position feedback signals. Thus, a single continuous command signal can control the size of the grasp opening prior to object acquisition and both grasp and opening after contact. The controller achieves this change in controlled variables by scaling and summing the force and position feedback signals, rather than by a discrete switch in control strategy. Experimental tests of the control system in quadriplegic subjects show that control can be obtained over conditions ranging from unloaded position regulation is isometric force regulation as well as in the transition between these conditions. The robustness of the control system was evaluated during force regulation with isometric loads. Step response rise time and overshoot were much more dependent on system gain than on the location of the controller zero. Responses with a rise time of less than and 2 s an overshoot of less than 30% were obtained over a gain range up to 10, indicating good robustness to muscle gain reductions such as might be caused by fatigue.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 1 )