FES / Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race
About the Team
In 2019, a group of scientists and students from Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) began to work on the first prototype of a Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) bike, to compete at Cybathlon 2020. Since then, many researchers, students and pilots have been working to improve the device and the performance of the team. The addition of new sensors to improve the feedback from the trike and the study of different stimulation strategies are two of the main novelties introduced by the POLIMI team to be competitive for Cybathlon 2024. Moreover, a usability study was carried out to enhance user involvement in the optimization of the prototype. The aim of the POLIMI team is to increase awareness in society about assistive technologies and their use in daily life thanks to the spotlight offered by the Cybathlon initiative.
About the Pilot
Samuele Maltauro is an Italian pilot from Lecco, where he lives with his family. Less than one year after his accident, in April 2023, Samuele began training with the POLIMI team with great enthusiasm. Participation in the project gives him the possibility to train at a constant pace and to get new incentives. He is happy to be an active member of the team and to support our research.
About the Device
Our device is an FES-controlled recumbent trike, compatible with the Cybathlon rules for the FES Bike Race. It consists of a passive three-wheel trike (ICE VTX 2017) sensorized with a magnetic encoder and two RehaMove3 stimulators (HASOMED GmbH) for transcutaneous Functional Electrical Stimulation of up to 8 muscles. The RehaMove3 is a portable current-controlled 4-channel stimulator. A crank-angle-based stimulation strategy is used to generate the cycling motion and a PID controller is used to keep a constant pedalling cadence. The control system runs on a Raspberry Pi 4. During the race, the pilot has the possibility to adjust either the stimulation intensity or the target cadence by means of buttons. Sensorized pedals are included in the device to measure the power output at each pedal during cycling.