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Neuroprostheses can be used to restore movement of the upper limb in individuals with high-level spinal cord injury. Development and evaluation of command and control schemes for such devices typically require real-time, ldquopatient-in-the-looprdquo experimentation. A real-time, 3-D, musculoskeletal model of the upper limb has been developed for use in a simulation environment to allow such testing to be carried out noninvasively. The model provides real-time feedback of human arm dynamics that can be displayed to the user in a virtual reality environment. The model has a 3-DOF glenohumeral joint as well as elbow flexion/extension and pronation/supination and contains 22 muscles of the shoulder and elbow divided into multiple elements. The model is able to run in real time on modest desktop hardware and demonstrates that a large-scale, 3-D model can be made to run in real time. This is a prerequisite for a real-time, whole-arm model that will form part of a dynamic arm simulator for use in the development, testing, and user training of neural prosthesis systems.
Date of Publication: April 2009