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Model-Based Development of Neural Prostheses for Movement

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5 Author(s)
Davoodi, R. ; Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles ; Urata, C. ; Hauschild, M. ; Khachani, M.
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Neural prostheses for restoration of limb movement in paralyzed and amputee patients tend to be complex systems. Subjective intuition and trial-and-error approaches have been applied to the design and clinical fitting of simple systems with limited functionality. These approaches are time consuming, difficult to apply in larger scale, and not applicable to limbs under development with more anthropomorphic motion and actuation. The field of neural prosthetics is in need of more systematic methods, including tools that will allow users to develop accurate models of neural prostheses and simulate their behavior under various conditions before actual manufacturing or clinical application. Such virtual prototyping would provide an efficient and safe test-bed for narrowing the design choices and tuning the control parameters before actual clinical application. We describe a software environment that we have developed to facilitate the construction and modification of accurate mathematical models of paralyzed and prosthetic limbs and simulate their movement under various neural control strategies. These simulations can be run in real time with a stereoscopic display to enable design engineers and prospective users to evaluate a candidate neural prosthetic system and learn to operate it before actually receiving it.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 11 )