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Open AccessArticle

Sock-Type Wearable Sensor for Estimating Lower Leg Muscle Activity Using Distal EMG Signals

NTT Service Evolution Laboratories, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, 1-1 Hikarinooka, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-0847, Japan
Center for Cybernics Research, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
NTT Plala Inc., TOC Ariake East Tower 14F, 3-5-7 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063, Japan
NTT Communication Science Laboratories, 3-1 Morinosato-Wakamiya, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0198, Japan
Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1954;
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Sensors for Gait and Motion Analysis 2018)
Lower leg muscle activity contributes to body control; thus, monitoring lower leg muscle activity is beneficial to understand the body condition and prevent accidents such as falls. Amplitude features such as the mean absolute values of electromyography (EMG) are used widely for monitoring muscle activity. Garment-type EMG measurement systems use electrodes and they enable us to monitor muscle activity in daily life without any specific knowledge and the installation for electrode placement. However, garment-type measurement systems require a high compression area around the electrodes to prevent electrode displacement. This makes it difficult for users to wear such measurement systems. A less restraining wearable system, wherein the electrodes are placed around the ankle, is realized for target muscles widely distributed around the shank. The signals obtained from around the ankle are propagated biosignals from several muscles, and are referred to as distal EMG signals. Our objective is to develop a sock-type wearable sensor for estimating lower leg muscle activity using distal EMG signals. We propose a signal processing method based on multiple bandpass filters from the perspectives of noise separation and feature augmentation. We conducted an experiment for designing the hardware configuration, and three other experiments for evaluating the estimation accuracy and dependability of muscle activity analysis. Compared to the baseline based on a 20-500 Hz bandpass filter, the results indicated that the proposed system estimates muscle activity with higher accuracy. Experimental results suggest that lower leg muscle activity can be estimated using distal EMG signals. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable; distal EMG signal; muscle activity estimation wearable; distal EMG signal; muscle activity estimation
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Isezaki, T.; Kadone, H.; Niijima, A.; Aoki, R.; Watanabe, T.; Kimura, T.; Suzuki, K. Sock-Type Wearable Sensor for Estimating Lower Leg Muscle Activity Using Distal EMG Signals. Sensors 2019, 19, 1954.

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