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In IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

In the early 2000s, data from the latest World Health Organization estimates paint a picture where one-seventh of the world population needs at least one assistive device. Fortunately, these years are also characterized by a marked technological drive which takes the name of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this terrain, robotics is making its way through more and more aspects of everyday life, and robotics-based assistance/rehabilitation is considered one of the most encouraging applications. Providing high-intensity rehabilitation sessions or home assistance through low-cost robotic devices can be indeed an effective solution to democratize services otherwise not accessible to everyone. However, the identification of an intuitive and reliable real-time control system does arise as one of the critical issues to unravel for this technology in order to land in homes or clinics. Intention recognition techniques from surface ElectroMyoGraphic (sEMG) signals are referred to as one of the main ways-to-go in literature. Nevertheless, even if widely studied, the implementation of such procedures to real-case scenarios is still rarely addressed. In a previous work, the development and implementation of a novel sEMG-based classification strategy to control a fully-wearable Hand Exoskeleton System (HES) have been qualitatively assessed by the authors. This paper aims to furtherly demonstrate the validity of such a classification strategy by giving quantitative evidence about the favourable comparison to some of the standard machine-learning-based methods. Real-time action, computational lightness, and suitability to embedded electronics will emerge as the major characteristics of all the investigated techniques.

Secciani Nicola, Topini Alberto, Ridolfi Alessandro, Meli Enrico, Allotta Benedetto