Personnel Team-Grant application "Closed-loop communication system to support highly responsive neuromuscular assistive stimulation" is granted by Estonian Research Council!
We introduce a project to control the stimulation of neuromuscular activity based on the human body's context awareness (position of the body and movement dynamics). The novelty of this project is in the controlled stimulation, meaning how to bring intelligence into wearable devices such as functional electrical stimulation (FES) electrodes to react depending on the context awareness. To simplify, the stimulation strength and frequency should not be the same when, for example, a neurodegenerative patient wearing an FES device is walking on the ice, climbing the stairs, or walking on normal surface. The two major contributions of the project are i) a feedback mechanism that can trigger actuator to stimulate at the right moment and at right frequency, and ii) a context aware ambient sensor at body area network (BAN) coordinator to scan the surrounding area and send the wireless signal to the actuator. The key challenge is to provide reliable communication for the given latency (which is in the order of 50 to 80 milliseconds). The outcome of the project could help patients with different neural diseases and the elderly to improve their quality of life and increase their motivation to do more physical activities.
Project start: 01/2019
Project end: 12/2023
Funding: 712 000 Euros.