Evaluation of FNS control systems: Software development and sensor characterization

Jo Anne Riess, James J. Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation (FNS) systems activate paralyzed limbs by electrically stimulating motor neurons. These systems have been used to restore functions such as standing and stepping in people with thoracic level spinal cord injury. Research in our laboratory is directed at the design and evaluation of the control algorithms for generating posture and movement. This paper describes software developed for implementing FNS control systems and the characterization of a sensor system used to implement and evaluate controllers in the laboratory. In order to assess FNS control algorithms, we have developed a versatile software package using LabVIEW® (National Instruments, Corp). This package provides the ability to interface with sensor systems via serial port or A/D board, implement data processing and real-time control algorithms, and interface with neuromuscular stimulation devices. In our laboratory, we use the Flock of Birds® (Ascension Technology Corp.) motion tracking sensor system to monitor limb segment position and orientation (6 degrees of freedom). Errors in the sensor system have been characterized and nonlinear polynomial models have been developed to account for these errors. With this compensation, the error in the distance measurement is reduced by 90% so that the maximum error is less than 1 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalBiomedical Sciences Instrumentation
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive control
  • Functional neuromuscular stimulation
  • Kinematic tracking
  • Motion tracking sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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