This paper represents an ongoing investigation of dexterous and natural control of upper extremity prostheses using the myoelectric signal (MES). The scheme described within uses pattern recognition to process four channels of MES, with the task of discriminating multiple classes of limb movement. The method does not require segmentation of the MES data, allowing a continuous stream of class decisions to be delivered to a prosthetic device. It is shown in this paper that, by exploiting the processing power inherent in current computing systems, substantial gains in classifier accuracy and response time are possible. Other important characteristics for prosthetic control systems are met as well. Due to the fact that the classifier learns the muscle activation patterns for each desired class for each individual, a natural control actuation results. The continuous decision stream allows complex sequences of manipulation involving multiple joints to be performed without interruption. Finally, minimal storage capacity is required, which is an important factor in embedded control systems.
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