Project

Control of muscle-actuated systems via electrical stimulation

Motivated by applications in rehabilitation and robotics, we are developing methodologies to control muscle-actuated systems via electrical stimulation. As a demonstration of such potential, we are developing centimeter-scale robotic systems that utilize muscle for actuation and glucose as a primary source of fuel. This is an interesting control problem because muscles: a) are mechanical state-dependent actuators; b) exhibit strong nonlinearities; and c) have slow time-varying properties due to fatigue-recuperation, growth-atrophy, and damage-healing cycles. We are investigating a variety of adaptive and robust control techniques to enable us to achieve trajectory tracking, as well as mechanical power-output control under sustained oscillatory conditions. To implement and test our algorithms, we developed an experimental capability that allows us to characterize and control muscle in real time, while imposing a wide variety of dynamical boundary conditions.

Motivated by applications in rehabilitation and robotics, we are developing methodologies to control muscle-actuated systems via electrical stimulation. As a demonstration of such potential, we are developing centimeter-scale robotic systems that utilize muscle for actuation and glucose as a primary source of fuel. This is an interesting control problem because muscles: a) are mechanical state-dependent actuators; b) exhibit strong nonlinearities; and c) have slow time-varying properties due to fatigue-recuperation, growth-atrophy, and damage-healing cycles. We are investigating a variety of adaptive and robust control techniques to enable us to achieve trajectory tracking, as well as mechanical power-output control under sustained oscillatory conditions. To implement and test our algorithms, we developed an experimental capability that allows us to characterize and control muscle in real time, while imposing a wide variety of dynamical boundary conditions.