Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Washkewicz College of Engineering

First Advisor

Rchter, Hanz

Subject Headings



Many muscle rehabilitation regimens are non-adaptive and recommended subjectively by physicians. While there are advantages to having the feedback of a qualified physician, utilizing real-time muscle performance feedback could be beneficial. An extremum seeking control design is proposed to fulfill the need for an automated, load-varying exercise machine that can optimize muscle performance.

Several steps are outlined to contribute to the realization of this goal. First, the extremum seeking control scheme is discussed. Second, the Hill muscle model will be described. Theoretical muscle effort extrema will be derived for selected optimization cases, namely maximizing average squared power by varying load stiffness. Thirdly, a muscle-actuated linkage framework will be developed for simulation. This framework allows for automated creation of a linkage with an arbitrary number of links and muscles with easily customizable parameters. Finally, the controller will be simulated against the linkage to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed control design. Successful completion of these steps is crucial to the development of an adaptive exercise machine. Although feasibility is not shown for every type of load or performance measure, the proposed framework is streamlined enough to allow for - and encourage - future research and customization.