P08027: Wireless Assistive Control System
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Muscle Selection

The customer was looking for a device that was nearly non-invasive and could be worn on the user's arms without removal of clothing or require major setup times. Selecting the muscles to be used was the key to the success of the project. The project requires that four muscle signals must be isolated to control the toy. Cross talk or the capture of signal from Muscle A by the electrodes on Muscle B was a major concern in the early stages of development. The initial theory of the project was to use individual finger flexions on a single arm to control the vehicle, but as one can see from the diagram below, isolating these muscles without any cross talk boarders on impossible, especially considering the use of surface EMG sensors. It was decided to try and use both arms to reduce the challenge of cross talk. Further research led us to believe that the thenar muscle of the thumb could be used as well as the finger flexions collectively. Using the Thenar of each hand and the finger flexions in each forearm gave us enough individual signals to control a vehicle. To proove cross talk would not be a problem, extensive testing was conducted. After which, it was determined that the Thenar muscle in the thumb and the finger flexions in the forearm were ideal. Not only were these muscles isolated from each other so as to reduce crosstalk, they also were capable of generating substantial signals

Forearm muscle diagram

Forearm muscle diagram