Functional electrical stimulation (FES) of the triceps to restore control of elbow extension was integrated into a portable hand grasp neuroprosthesis for use by people with cervical level spinal cord injury. An accelerometer mounted on the upper arm activated triceps stimulation when the arm was raised above a predetermined threshold angle. Elbow posture was controlled by the subjects voluntarily flexing to counteract the stimulated elbow extension. The elbow moments created by the stimulated triceps were at least 4 N.m, which was sufficient to extend the arm against gravity. Electrical stimulation of the triceps increased the range of locations and orientations in the workspace over which subjects could grasp and move objects. In addition, object acquisition speed was increased. Thus elbow extension enhances a person's ability to grasp and manipulate objects in an unstructured environment.
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