Extrinsic Finger and Thumb Muscles Command a Virtual Hand to Allow Individual Finger and Grasp Control

Fine-wire intramuscular electrodes were used to obtain electromyogram (EMG) signals from six extrinsic hand muscles associated with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Subjects’ EMG activity was used to control a virtual three-degree-of-freedom (DOF) hand as they conformed the hand to a sequence of hand postures testing two controllers: direct EMG control and pattern recognition control. Subjects tested two conditions using each controller: starting the hand from a predefined neutral posture before each new posture and starting the hand from the previous posture in the sequence.

Subjects demonstrated their abilities to simultaneously, yet individually, move all three DOFs during the direct EMG control trials; however, results showed subjects did not often utilize this feature. Performance metrics such as failure rate and completion time showed no significant difference between the two controllers.

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