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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020467

Implementation of a Surface Electromyography-Based Upper Extremity Exoskeleton Controller Using Learning from Demonstration

1
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
3
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Applications in Medical Monitoring and Assistive Devices)
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Abstract

Upper-extremity exoskeletons have demonstrated potential as augmentative, assistive, and rehabilitative devices. Typical control of upper-extremity exoskeletons have relied on switches, force/torque sensors, and surface electromyography (sEMG), but these systems are usually reactionary, and/or rely on entirely hand-tuned parameters. sEMG-based systems may be able to provide anticipatory control, since they interface directly with muscle signals, but typically require expert placement of sensors on muscle bodies. We present an implementation of an adaptive sEMG-based exoskeleton controller that learns a mapping between muscle activation and the desired system state during interaction with a user, generating a personalized sEMG feature classifier to allow for anticipatory control. This system is robust to novice placement of sEMG sensors, as well as subdermal muscle shifts. We validate this method with 18 subjects using a thumb exoskeleton to complete a book-placement task. This learning-from-demonstration system for exoskeleton control allows for very short training times, as well as the potential for improvement in intent recognition over time, and adaptation to physiological changes in the user, such as those due to fatigue. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface electromyography; learning from demonstration; exoskeletons; human experiments surface electromyography; learning from demonstration; exoskeletons; human experiments
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Siu, H.C.; Arenas, A.M.; Sun, T.; Stirling, L.A. Implementation of a Surface Electromyography-Based Upper Extremity Exoskeleton Controller Using Learning from Demonstration. Sensors 2018, 18, 467.

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