An Inertial Measurement Unit Based Shoulder Position Sensor for Upper Limb FES Device.
Authors: Cobb, J., Venugopalan, L., Swain, I. and Taylor, P.
Start date: 8 May 2015
Every year, nearly 1200 people in the UK are paralysed due to of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and there are nearly 40,000 people living with the effects of SCI, 30% of whom are diagnosed as having incomplete tetraplegia, which is a paralytic condition that results in loss of function of all the four limbs in a human being1. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has helped people with C5-C7 tetraplegia regain some of their upper limb functions and efficiently perform their activities of daily living2. People with C5-C7 tetraplegia have some redundant shoulder movement which can be used to control an upper limb FES device. Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) is an electronic device with accelerometers, gyroscopes and sometimes magnetometers, which provide information like speed of movement and orientation of the body. IMUs like the Xsens MTx have been used to detect the position of the arm in the space3. But the Xsens module is quite expensive and slightly bulky.
The aim of this study is to explore the possibilities of using a compact and cost effective commercially available IMU as a shoulder position sensor to control an upper limb FES device.