Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 4, 2015
   Pages 449 — 466

Abstract — Novel postural control algorithm for control of multifunctional myoelectric prosthetic hands

Jacob L. Segil, PhD;1* Richard F. ff. Weir, PhD2

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO; 2Biomechatronics Development Laboratory, Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver, CO; and Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO

Abstract — The myoelectric controller (MEC) remains a technological bottleneck in the development of multifunctional prosthetic hands. Current MECs require physiologically inappropriate commands to indicate intent and lack effectiveness in a clinical setting. Postural control schemes use surface electromyography signals to drive a cursor in a continuous two-dimensional domain that is then transformed into a hand posture. Here, we present a novel algorithm for a postural controller and test the efficacy of the system during two experiments with 11 total subjects. In the first experiment, we found that performance increased when a velocity cursor-control technique versus a position cursor-control technique was used. Also, performance did not change when using 3, 4, or 12 surface electrodes. In the second experiment, subjects commanded a six degree-of-freedom virtual hand into seven functional postures without training, with completion rates of 82 +/– 4%, movement times of 3.5 +/– 0.2 s, and path efficiencies of 45 +/– 3%. Subjects retained the ability to use the postural controller at a high level across days after a single 1 h training session. Our results substantiate the novel algorithm for a postural controller as a robust and advantageous design for a MEC of multifunction prosthetic hands.

Key words: biomechatronics, electromyography, EMG, hand, limb prosthesis, multifunctional prosthetic hand, myoelectric control, postural control, transradial prosthesis, upper-limb prosthesis.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.4

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Segil JL, Weir RF. Novel postural control algorithm for control of multifunctional myoelectric prosthetic hands. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(4):449–66.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.05.0134
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