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In IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society ; h5-index 0.0

In the case of a hand amputation, the affected person can use a myoelectric prosthesis to substitute the missing limb and regain motor functions. Unfortunately, commercial methods for myoelectric control, although robust and simple, are unintuitive and cognitively taxing when applied to an advanced multifunctional prosthesis. The state-of-the-art methods developed in academia are based on machine learning and therefore require long training and suffer from a lack of robustness. This work presents a novel closed-loop multi-level amplitude controller (CMAC), which aims at overcoming these drawbacks. The CMAC implements three degrees-of-freedom (DoF) control by thresholding the muscle contraction intensity during wrist flexion and extension movements. Unique features of the controller are the vibrotactile feedback that communicates the state of the controller to the user and a scheme for proportional control. These components allow exploiting the full dexterity of the prosthesis using a simple two-channel myoelectric interface. The CMAC was compared to a commonly implemented pattern-recognition method (linear discriminant analysis - LDA) using clinically relevant tests in 12 able-bodied and 2 amputee subjects. The experimental assessment demonstrated that CMAC was similarly fast as LDA in dexterous tests (clothespin and cube manipulation), while it was somewhat slower than LDA during a simple, single DoF task (box and blocks). In addition, in all the tasks, LDA and CMAC resulted in a similarly low error rate. On the other hand, to an amputee that could not generate six distinguishable classes using LDA, the CMAC still enabled the control of all the prosthesis DoFs. Importantly, the overall setup and training time in CMAC were significantly lower compared to LDA. In conclusion, the novel method is convenient for clinical applications, and allows substantially higher control dexterity compared to what can be normally achieved using conventional two channel EMG. Therefore, CMAC provides performance comparable to advanced machine-learning algorithms and the robustness and ease of use that is characteristic for the simple two-channel myoelectric interface.

Markovic Marko, Varel Marc, Schweisfurth Meike A, Schilling Arndt F, Dosen Strahinja

2019-Dec-13