Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 6, 2011
   Pages 629 — 642

Abstract —  Comparison of electromyography and force as interfaces for prosthetic control

Elaine A. Corbett, MS;1-3* Eric J. Perreault, PhD;1-2,4 Todd A. Kuiken, MD, PhD1,3-4

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; 2Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; 3Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; 4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Abstract — The ease with which persons with upper-limb amputations can control their powered prostheses is largely determined by the efficacy of the user command interface. One needs to understand the abilities of the human operator regarding the different available options. Electromyography (EMG) is widely used to control powered upper-limb prostheses. It is an indirect estimator of muscle force and may be expected to limit the control capabilities of the prosthesis user. This study compared EMG control with force control, an interface that is used in everyday interactions with the environment. We used both methods to perform a position-tracking task. Direct-position control of the wrist provided an upper bound for human-operator capabilities. The results demonstrated that an EMG control interface is as effective as force control for the position-tracking task. We also examined the effects of gain and tracking frequency on EMG control to explore the limits of this control interface. We found that information transmission rates for myoelectric control were best at higher tracking frequencies than at the frequencies previously reported for position control. The results may be useful for the design of prostheses and prosthetic controllers.

Key words: EMG velocity control, force control, human operator, human-operator bandwidth, information transmission rate, myoelectric control, position control, prosthesis control, tracking frequency, tracking task, velocity gain.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 48, No. 6
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Corbett EA, Perreault EJ, Kuiken TA. Comparison of electromyography and force as interfaces for prosthetic control. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(6):629-42.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.03.0028
ResearcherID: Elaine A. Corbett, MS: C-3562-2011
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, August 3, 2011 10:48 AM

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