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Feasibility of EMG-Based Neural Network Controller for an Upper Extremity Neuroprosthesis

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2 Author(s)
Hincapie, J.G. ; Boston Sci. Corp., Boston, MA ; Kirsch, R.F.

The overarching goal of this project is to provide shoulder and elbow function to individuals with C5/C6 spinal cord injury (SCI) using functional electrical stimulation (FES), increasing the functional outcomes currently provided by a hand neuroprosthesis. The specific goal of this study was to design a controller based on an artificial neural network (ANN) that extracts information from the activity of muscles that remain under voluntary control sufficient to predict appropriate stimulation levels for several paralyzed muscles in the upper extremity. The ANN was trained with activation data obtained from simulations using a musculoskeletal model of the arm that was modified to reflect C5 SCI and FES capabilities. Several arm movements were recorded from able-bodied subjects and these kinematics served as the inputs to inverse dynamic simulations that predicted muscle activation patterns corresponding to the movements recorded. A system identification procedure was used to identify an optimal reduced set of voluntary input muscles from the larger set that are typically under voluntary control in C5 SCI. These voluntary activations were used as the inputs to the ANN and muscles that are typically paralyzed in C5 SCI were the outputs to be predicted. The neural network controller was able to predict the needed FES paralyzed muscle activations from ldquovoluntaryrdquo activations with less than a 3.6% RMS prediction error.

Published in:

Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )