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A practical EMG-based human-computer interface for users with motor disabilities


Barreto, Armando B.; Scargle, Scott D.; Adjouadi, Malek


United States, Veterans Administration - Rehabilitation R & D Service


Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development - JRRD, 2000, Volume 37 (Number 1), Seite 53-64, Baltimore, Maryland: Eigenverlag, ISSN: 0748-7711 (Print); 1938-1352 (Online)




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In line with the mission of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (ATA), this study proposes an integrated assistive real-time system which 'affirms that technology is a valuable tool that can be used to improve the lives of people with disabilities.' An assistive technology device is defined by the ATA as 'any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. '

The purpose of this study is to design and develop an alternate input device that can be used even by individuals with severe motor disabilities. This real-time system design utilizes electromyographic (EMG) biosignals from cranial muscles and electroencephalographic (EEG) biosignals from the cerebrum's occipital lobe, which are transformed into controls for two-dimensional (2-D) cursor movement, the left-click (Enter) command, and an ON/OFF switch for the cursor-control functions.

This HCI system classifies biosignals into 'mouse' functions by applying amplitude thresholds and performing power spectral density (PSD) estimations on discrete windows of data. Spectral power summations are aggregated over several frequency bands between 8 and 500 Hz and then compared to produce the correct classification. The result is an affordable DSP-based system that, when combined with an on-screen keyboard, enables the user to fully operate a computer without using any extremities.

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Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development

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Informationsstand: 26.02.2004

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