Tactile Myography: An Off-Line Assessment of Able-Bodied Subjects and One Upper-Limb Amputee
Human-machine interfaces to control prosthetic devices still suffer from scarce dexterity and low reliability; for this reason, the community of assistive robotics is exploring novel solutions to the problem of myocontrol. In this work, we present experimental results pointing in the direction that one such method, namely Tactile Myography (TMG), can improve the situation. In particular, we use a shape-conformable high-resolution tactile bracelet wrapped around the forearm/residual limb to discriminate several wrist and finger activations performed by able-bodied subjects and a trans-radial amputee. Several combinations of features/classifiers were tested to discriminate among the activations. The balanced accuracy obtained by the best classifier/feature combination was on average 89.15% (able-bodied subjects) and 88.72% (amputated subject); when considering wrist activations only, the results were on average 98.44% for the able-bodied subjects and 98.72% for the amputee. The results obtained from the amputee were comparable to those obtained by the able-bodied subjects. This suggests that TMG is a viable technique for myoprosthetic control, either as a replacement of or as a companion to traditional surface electromyography.