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Nonlinear model predictive control of joint ankle by electrical stimulation for drop foot correction

Mourad Benoussaad 1 Katja Mombaur 1 Christine Azevedo Coste 2 
2 DEMAR - Artificial movement and gait restoration
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : In this paper we investigate the use of optimal control techniques to improve Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for drop foot correction on hemiplegic patients. A model of the foot and the tibialis anterior muscle, the contraction of which is controlled by electrical stimulation has been established and is used in the optimal control problem. The novelty in this work is the use of the ankle accelerations and shank orientations (so-called external states) in the model, which have been measured on hemiplegic patients in a previous experiment using Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). The optimal control problem minimizes the square of muscle excitations which serves the overall goal of reducing energy consumption in the muscle. In a first step, an offline optimal control problem is solved for test purposes and shows the efficiency of the FES optimal control for drop foot correction. In a second step, a Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) problem - or online optimal control problem, is solved in a simulated environment. While the ulitmate goal is to use NMPC on the real system, i.e. directly on the patient, this test in simulation was meant to show the feasibility of NMPC for online drop foot correction. In the optimization problem, a set of fixed constraints of foot orientation was applied. Then, an original adaptive constraint taking into account the current ankle height, was introduced and tested. Comparisons between results under fixed and adaptive constraints highlight the advantage of the adaptive constraints in terms of energy consumption, where its quadratic sum of controls, obtained by NMPC, was three times lower than with the fixed constraint. This feasibility study was a first step in application of NMPC on real hemiplegic patients for online FES-based drop foot correction. The adaptive constraints method presents a new and efficient approach in terms of muscular energy consumption minimization.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 1, 2016 - 4:26:08 PM
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Mourad Benoussaad, Katja Mombaur, Christine Azevedo Coste. Nonlinear model predictive control of joint ankle by electrical stimulation for drop foot correction. IROS: Intelligent RObots and Systems, Nov 2013, Tokyo, Japan. pp.983-989, ⟨10.1109/IROS.2013.6696470⟩. ⟨lirmm-01340730⟩



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