Bio-driven system-based virtual reality for prosthetic and rehabilitation systems

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Journal Article
Signal, Image and Video Processing, 2012, 6 (1), pp. 71 - 84
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Current prosthetic and rehabilitation devices, used for those who are limbless or born with congenital defects or required rehabilitation, are difficult to use. The users have problems to adapt to their new hosts or receiving any bio-feedback despite rehabilitation process and retraining, particularly when working with electromyogram (EMG) signals. In characterizing virtual human limbs, as a potential prosthetic device in three dimensions (3D) virtual reality, patients are able to familiarize themselves with their new appendage and its capabilities or can see their movements' intention in a Virtual Training Environment. This paper presents a virtual reality (VR)-based design and implementation of a below-shoulder 3D human arm capable of 10-class EMG-based motions driven system of biomedical EMG signal. The method considers a signal classification output as potential control stimulus to drive the virtual limb. A hierarchical design methodology is adopted based on anatomical structure to congruent with virtual reality modeling language (VRML) architecture used in order to progressively build the user interface model and its inherent functionality. The resulting simulation is based on a portable, self-contained VRML prototype implementation paired with an instrumental virtual control-select board capable of actuating any combinations of singular or paired kinematic of 10-class EMG motions. The simulation allows for multiple degree-of-freedom profiles as the classes can be activated independently, or in conjunction with others, allowing enhanced arm movement. Provisions for direct classified control inputs are built into the prototype for holistic system construction. © 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited.
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