Using Muscle Electrical Signals to Control Computers and Prosthetics

A presentation by Sanjay S. Joshi, Ph.D.



A growing population around the world is faced with paralysis, amputation or other conditions that present important challenges in tasks of daily living. Increasingly powerful computers and new robotics technology, including new advanced prosthetics, are allowing machines to help people with these conditions. However, a central challenge remains in determining how a person commands these devices, whether the devices are located across the room or are attached to the body. New research aims to use the body’s internal electrical system to command these devices. Electrical signals within the body can be measured in various places, including the brain, the nerves, and the muscles. In our laboratory, we are using muscle electrical signals as a basis for human-machine interface. We will describe how we combine muscle electrical sensing, control systems, machine learning, and robotics for a variety of muscle-based interfaces.