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hgollee86
09-26-2002, 12:08 AM
PhD Studentship: Feedback Control of Balance in Paraplegia

Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering, University of Glasgow (Prof KJ Hunt)
Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde (Dr M Granat)
Glasgow, Scotland

We have been working for several years on the design and experimental
evaluation of feedback systems for automatic balance control during
quiet standing for people with spinal cord injury. Feedback
stabilisation of posture is achieved by sensing body inclination angle
and by actuating the paralysed leg muscles using functional electrical
stimulation.

The proposed project aims to move towards a practical implementation
of feedback systems for automatic balance control using a new
generation of body-worn control computer, miniature sensors for
posture (based on gyroscope and accelerometer technology), and a
multi-functional stimulation system. The initial project will utilise
a surface stimulation system, but in the longer-term we expect to have
a number of subjects who use an implanted version of the system.

Evaluation will include experimental tials with complete-lesion
paraplegic volunteers, recruited from our collaborating clinical
centre at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit (Southern
General Hospital, Glasgow).

The project will investigate the feasibility of implementing balance
control using this framework. This will involve issues of robust
feedback design, and sensor requirements. Candidates should have a
sound background in feedback control systems, and experience with
control design and analysis using Matlab/Simulink. Experience with
C/C++ programming would be beneficial.

Further information can be found on our website at
http://fesnet.eng.gla.ac.uk/CRE/. Applications and requests for
further information should be addressed to Professor Ken Hunt at
k.hunt@mech.gla.ac.uk.

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