Developing a Quasi-Static Controller for a Paralyzed Human Arm: A Simulation Study

Derek N. Wolf, Cleveland State University
Eric M. Schearer, Cleveland State University

Paper presented at: 16th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Toronto, CANADA, JUN 24-28, 2019.

This work was supported by NIH NINDS grant N01-NS-5-2365, Veterans' Affairs grant B2359-C, NSF grant 1751821, and the Cleveland State Graduate Student Research Award.


Individuals with paralyzed limbs due to spinal cord injuries lack the ability to perform the reaching motions necessary to every day life. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a promising technology for restoring reaching movements to these individuals by reanimating their paralyzed muscles. We have proposed using a quasi-static model-based control strategy to achieve reaching controlled by FES. This method uses a series of static positions to connect the starting wrist position to the goal. As a first step to implementing this controller, we have completed a simulated study using a MATLAB based dynamic model of the arm in order to determine the suitable parameters 14 the quasi-static controller. The selected distance between static positions in the path was 6 cm, and the amount of time between switching target positions was 1.3 s. The final controller can complete reaches of over 30 cm with a median accuracy of 6.8 cm.