2016 Volume E99.D Issue 5 Pages 1345-1352
The cycling wheelchair “Profhand” was developed in Japan as locomotion and lower limb rehabilitation device for hemiplegic subjects and elderly persons. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) control of paralyzed lower limbs enables application of the Profhand to paraplegic subjects as a rehabilitation device. In this paper, simplified muscle stimulation control for FES cycling with Profhand was examined for practical application, because cycling speed was low and not stable in our preliminary study and there was a difficulty in setting stimulation electrodes for the gluteus maximus. First, a guideline of target cycling speed to be achieved by FES cycling was determined from voluntary cycling with healthy subjects in order to evaluate FES cycling control. The cycling speed of 0.6m/s was determined as acceptable value and 1.0m/s was as ideal one. Then, stimulation to the gluteus maximus and that to the dorsiflexor muscles in addition to the quadriceps femoris were examined for simple FES cycling control for Profhand with healthy subjects. Stimulation timing was adjusted automatically during cycling based on muscle response time to electrical stimulation and cycling speed, which was shown to be effective for FES cycling control. Simple FES cycling control with Profhand removing stimulation to the gluteus maximus was found to be feasible. Stimulation to the dorsiflexor muscles with the quadriceps femoris was suggested to be effective for practical, simple FES cycling with Profhand in case of removing the gluteus maximus stimulation.