Electric muscle stimulation devices are generally used in the fields of physiology and sports medicine.
They can be found in cardiac pacemakers (FES - functional electrical stimulation), for pain therapies (TENS - transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) or as a medication against incontinence (EMS - electrical muscle stimulation).
Current research is concerned with the reconstitution of muscular functions in the legs of paraplegic persons. Although the patients nerve tracts might be degenerated or even interrupted, this kind of treatment is effective.
Thanks to these developments some paraplegic people can learn to walk for a second time.
Even the simplest devices can cause muscular contractions. They can be bought at any teleshopping terminal and the best known example definitely is the "Butterfly Aps".
The "maschine-mensch" generally utilizes 4-8 channel devices with individually controllable circuits. Needless to say, the "Butterfly Aps" is not comparable to these very efficient & advanced devices.
The instrument used for the Conveyor Belt Experiment in particular is a collaborative product by Otto Bock & MED-EL. The research headquarters of both companies are based in Austria.
The Stiwell Med4 is launched in October 2006 as a limited edition.