Neuromechanic has been used to evaluate control mechanisms for prosthetic devices.  The video below is a demonstration of an impulsive virtual prosthesis (IVP) controlled by a person without limb loss.  Electrodes that measure the electrical activity of muscle were placed on the arm and shoulder (when the user is a person with limb loss the electrodes are placed over the residual muscles, details here).  The computer learns to connect certain activity patterns in the muscles to desired motion patterns of the virtual prosthesis. The benefit of having a virtual prosthesis is that you can test out ideas for control schemes, feedback methods and arm configurations before investing time and money in hardware. The added benefit of the IVP in Neuromechanic is that the limb can interact with a virtual environment.  Here the subject is performing a box and blocks test, a common assessment tool used by occupational therapists. 

If the virtual arm doesn't look like it's following the users arm it's because it isn't.  The computer has no idea what the motion of the user's arm is.  It only knows his muscle activity patterns and is using those as cues to execute its various motions.

This work is published in IEEE TNSRE. I will soon make publicly available files that can be used to duplicate the controller in this study. If you are interested in receiving an email when the files are available please email me (Nate) at the email address here.

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