Wheelchair-mounted upper limb robotic exoskeleton with adaptive controller for activities of daily living
Desai, Jaydip M.
Yihun, Yimesker S.
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Schabron, B., Desai, J., & Yihun, Y. (2021). Wheelchair-mounted upper limb robotic exoskeleton with adaptive controller for activities of daily living. Sensors, 21(17) doi:10.3390/s21175738
Neuro-muscular disorders and diseases such as cerebral palsy and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy can severely limit a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). Exoskeletons can provide an active or passive support solution to assist these groups of people to perform ADL. This study presents an artificial neural network-trained adaptive controller mechanism that uses surface electromyography (sEMG) signals from the human forearm to detect hand gestures and navigate an in-house-built wheelchair-mounted upper limb robotic exoskeleton based on the user’s intent while ensuring safety. To achieve the desired position of the exoskeleton based on human intent, 10 hand gestures were recorded from 8 participants without upper limb movement disabilities. Participants were tasked to perform water bottle pick and place activities while using the exoskeleton, and sEMG signals were collected from the forearm and processed through root mean square, median filter, and mean feature extractors prior to training a scaled conjugate gradient backpropagation artificial neural network. The trained network achieved an average of more than 93% accuracy, while all 8 participants who did not have any prior experience of using an exoskeleton were successfully able to perform the task in less than 20 s using the proposed artificial neural network-trained adaptive controller mechanism. These results are significant and promising thus could be tested on people with muscular dystrophy and neuro-degenerative diseases.
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).