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This paper proposes and tests on able-bodied subjects a control strategy that can be practically applied in unilateral transradial amputees for simultaneous and proportional control of multiple degrees-of-freedom (DOFs). We used artificial neural networks to estimate kinematics of the complex wrist/hand from high-density surface electromyography (EMG) signals of the contralateral limb during mirrored bilateral movements in free space. The movements tested involved the concurrent activation of wrist flexion/extension, radial/ulnar deviation, forearm pronation/supination, and hand closing. The accuracy in estimation was in the range 79%-88% (r2 index) for the four DOFs in six able-bodied subjects. Moreover, the estimation of the pronation/supination angle (wrist rotation) was influenced by the reduction in the number of EMG channels used for the estimation to a greater extent than the other DOFs. In conclusion, the proposed method and set-up provide a viable means for proportional and simultaneous control of multiple DOFs for hand prostheses.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May 2012