Desktop Training and Evaluation of Upper Limb Myoelectric Control Strategies

  • Author / Creator
    Austin, James A.
  • The adoption of powered myoelectric prostheses and their ability to improve quality of life for persons with amputations is hindered by the difficulty of controlling multiple degrees of freedom with a limited number of input signals. Different myoelectric control strategies have been developed to address this challenge, but research evaluating myoelectric control strategies in a wearable prosthesis with actual prosthesis users is limited. Performance using myoelectric prostheses is significantly impacted by user training with the selected control strategy; however, minimal research has been done into the effect of functional user training with different myoelectric control strategies, as this typically requires training and evaluating prosthesis users with differing device configurations and customized socket fittings. Desktop-mounted robotic devices offer a potential intermediate platform for myoelectric control training and evaluation of participants with less intensive requirements than a full socket fitting, but more applicability to functional prosthetic ability than offline or virtual evaluations. In this thesis work, a training environment and protocol for improving myoelectric prosthetic control with a desktop-mounted robotic arm was developed and assessed with pattern recognition as the control method, and a novel evaluation of myoelectric control using the desktop-mounted robotic arm was developed and assessed for test validity. Pre-training and post-training performance for 10 able-bodied participants was evaluated using the Target Achievement Control (TAC) test for 1, 2 and 3 degrees of freedom. Post-training performance was also evaluated in two successive blocks with a novel evaluation task, the Cup Deposition test, using the desktop-mounted robotic arm. Results on the TAC test showed significant differences in performance before and after 1 hour of desktop training, supporting the hypothesis that a desktop training protocol may improve performance with pattern recognition-based control. Results for the Cup Deposition test indicated good test-retest reliability and concurrent validity with the TAC test for research purposes.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
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