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Human-robot control interfaces have received increased attention during the last decades. These interfaces increasingly use signals coming directly from humans since there is a strong necessity for simple and natural control interfaces. In this paper, electromyographic (EMG) signals from the muscles of the human upper limb are used as the control interface between the user and a robot arm. A switching regime model is used to decode the EMG activity of 11 muscles to a continuous representation of arm motion in the 3-D space. The switching regime model is used to overcome the main difficulties of the EMG-based control systems, i.e., the nonlinearity of the relationship between the EMG recordings and the arm motion, as well as the nonstationarity of EMG signals with respect to time. The proposed interface allows the user to control in real time an anthropomorphic robot arm in the 3-D space. The efficiency of the method is assessed through real-time experiments of four persons performing random arm motions.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:41 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011