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Thread: Help with the OpenFES Project

  1. #1
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
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    Help with the OpenFES Project

    Hi everyone,

    Summer is here and some of us have some extra time on our hands. This Summer, I will be starting my senior engineering project. I decided that I will lead a team that will build an Community Designed FES system. I am leaning towards FES rowing. The physics of the rowing motion are a little easier than the cycling motion, plus there's nothing like it on the market yet, so we would be able to aide in the developement of a low cost consumer product. The goal is $4-5k, with the bulk of the money going toward the actual FES stimulator. I have given written intent to the professors in electrical and computer engineering, as well as computer science, so this is something that is going to happen.

    We are looking for all types of engineers, scientists, coders, PT's, GP's, handymen/handywomen, sponsors, and, of course, ALPHA testers!
    This Summer will be used to scout for hardware and software, build a code repository and wiki page, and to formalize a spec sheet and feature list.

    There are only a few things that I am adamant about as far as features go:
    0. Price. No more than $5,000USD in parts.
    1. The stim unit must be capable of providing Galvanic current to a dennervated muscle.
    2. The stim unit must have enough channels to drive both upper and lower legs.
    3. The development OS must be usermode Linux. The programming languages must be open source.
    4. The rowing machine must be suitable for both quads and paras, including all of the necessary straps, grips, belts, heights, etc.

    What I would really like to do is publish the complete DIYS manual on the internet. The idea being that doing so might introduce competition to the FES market and drive down the ridiculous pricetags of these machines.
    If you would like to help, just reply to this thread or email me at


    blaform[at]ecs[dot]csus[dot]edu;
    Last edited by mattblan; 05-26-2008 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2

    Great project Matt!

    Hi Matt,

    I'm more than willing to contribute all of the work I have done on my DIY FES Cycle. This will give you an idea of how I approached it in terms of simple electronics and software.

    The only bummer is that I have already broke your rules as the software is developed in Visual Basic .NET 2008 as I assumed the most common platform for people would be Windoze. However there is nothing in the software that couldn't be easily ported to Linux / Open Source programming language.

    In your post you mentioned that the cycling physics are harder than rowing. I looked into rowing intially and decided against it for two reasons, firstly the physics are equally (if not slightly more) as difficult as cycling and secondly the user has to get out of their wheelchair to row which makes it more difficult to use independently. That said rowing would be a nice project to do!

    I have quite a few documents that define the cycling physics and muscle stimulation patterns, if you are interested in looking at them?

    My software and eletronics are complete for my prototype. I'm currently struggling with the mechanics of things as my spasticity is playing havoc with the pedal setup I have. I will hopefully sort that out in the very near future.

    Great project, good luck!

    BR

  3. #3
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
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    Hi Bikeracer,

    Congratulations on your prototype! That is a very impressive feat of engineering. To answer you question, Yes, I am very interested at looking at your docs. I have found some good stuff on ieee.org and I actually know someone who published a paper on custom firing patterns for upper+lower leg cycling. I would be perfectly happy doing an FES cycle if we could incorporate a hand crank for simultaneous upper body exercise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
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    Here is the link of an FES Rowing Machine patent that was filed. I have spoken with the gentleman who submitted it and I have seen pictures of the invention. It looks like a very well thought out mechanical device and the idea behind the stimulation deliverance method is quite novel. From the abstract:

    "It would be very difficult or perhaps impossible for a computer to regulate the electrical stimulation applied to paralyzed legs so that the force produced by the legs versus the arms would result in the correct rowing motion"

    He basically uses a manual trigger to fire the stimulus. I fail to see how this problem would be difficult to solve using sensors in conjunction with digital logic devices. I am trying to convince him to let me prove my hypothesis using one of his machines.

    We could also use something like this to do both cycling and rowing in one machine.

    I have created a wiki page and a temporary SVN code repository
    Please feel free to contribute!
    Last edited by mattblan; 05-25-2008 at 05:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
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    Bump to ask for photos, videos, and user manual pdf's

    Does anyone have any pictures, video, or user manual pdf's for any of the FES sytems on the market that you would be willing to share? (They have to be non-copywrite protected)

  6. #6
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
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    Updates:

    *Finalized a lot of hardware specs for initial prototype "Bandit".
    *Started work on custom 12 channel stimulator based on a circuit diagram from Silicon Chips Magazine article.
    *Started shipping preparations for Stimmaster Galaxy donation (Thank you Kim!)
    *Started Non Profit application

    $4000 cost ceiling is still looking quite doable

  7. #7
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    Keep up the good work! I can't wait to see the final product. Please keep up updated on your progress.

  8. #8
    I had no idea you were this smart!

    Good work, Matt!

  9. #9
    Matt,

    R u still leaning toward doing a FES rowing machine or did u decide a bike?
    Shawn (www.shawnoconnell.com)

    Remember - Dare to Dream

  10. #10
    Have you thought about speaking with Steven Petrofsky at all Matt? He is the father of FES. I believe he works for Cincinatti State University at this point. Sounds like your making some good progress... I do still have a copy of the Electrologic Orion Manual, but it takes forever to scan on my fax machine. I dont think its really going to tell you a lot about the super technical stuff, just pad locations and that type of thing.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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