Myopro: development of an innovative myoelectric forearm prosthesis

Myopro: development of an innovative myoelectric forearm prosthesis

The main goal of the multidisciplinary Myopro project is to develop an innovative forearm prosthesis by:

1) increasing the number of degrees of freedom using

multichannel surface electromyography

2) developing a natural and intuitive feedback mechanism

3) developing a virtual reality program to enable early-phase

rehabilitation

Informative video about the Myopro project

Background

Myoelectric forearm prostheses often stay unused by their users, because the control is not intuitive and the user doesn’t receive any sensory feedback. Within BSS a feedback mechanism will be developed that can provide feedback to the user about the position of the prosthetic hand and the force applied by the prosthesis. Feedback is necessary in the optimal control of a prosthesis, because otherwise the users have to continuously watch their prosthesis and therefore cannot use the prosthesis subconsciously. Furthermore, feedback on grasping force is essential in handling (fragile) objects.

Research

Possibilities to use small coin motors to provide vibrotactile feedback are being investigated.

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An accelerometer was mounted on top of the stimulators to control the frequency of stimulation and used to investigate the characteristics of the underlying skin and the ability of healthy subjects to distinguish different frequency levels of stimulation.

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A comparison in localization performance between two vibrotactile stimulators (the C2 tactor and the coin motor) was made. No difference was found, but the coin motor is much cheaper and smaller than the C2 and therefore more useful to use in position feedback applications in forearm prostheses.

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The use of vibrotactile and electrotactile stimulation for position feedback was investigated in a virtual grasping task. Performances were better when compared to the non-feedback situations and vibrotactile stimulation was better than electrotactile stimulation.

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The performance in a virtual grasping task with vibrotactile feedback about the level of hand opening was compared while distraction tasks had to be performed. Distraction didn’t influence the performance in the grasping tasks significantly.

Future research will focus on methods to provide feedback about the grasping force, the combination of position and force feedback and the effects of training .

Research themes

From Neural Circuit Behaviour to Human Sensory-Motor Function

Principal Investigator tracks

Peter H. Veltink: Sensing and Control of Human Movement

Funding

Pieken in de Delta (PIDON)

People involved

Peter Veltink

Heidi Witteveen

Daphne Boere (RRD)

Bart Peerdeman (CE)

Hans Rietman (RRD)

Sarthak Misra (CE)

Timespan

2009 - 2013

Publications

EEMCS Eprints

Project website

www.myopro.nl

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