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Wireless Nerve Positional Control of Prosthetic Device

[+] Author Affiliations
David R. Loker, Yi Wu, Margaret A. Voss, John T. Roth, Stephen A. Strom

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA

Paper No. IMECE2011-63891, pp. 581-586; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering; Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5488-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Artificial limb control is an active area of research, and the control of prosthetic devices using electromyographic (EMG) interfaces is well established. The authors have previously performed a feasibility study which demonstrated that wireless nerve control of a prosthetic device is possible. This is critical for injuries that result in the loss of muscle which prevent EMG control. The purpose of this study is to extend the authors’ current research by providing enhancements to the system designed in the feasibility study. The objective of this current study is to take simulated nerve signals and transform them into corresponding positional motion control realized by a servo motor. The system designed has four functioning blocks: artificial nerve signal generation, wireless transmitter, wireless receiver, and servo motor. The artificial nerve generator used a PIC microcontroller to simulate and apply the signals directly to the wireless transmitter. A one-byte message, that indicated when the appropriate signal characteristics were met, was wirelessly transmitted. After receiving the message, the wireless receiver sent a corresponding pulse-width modulated (PWM) signal to the servo motor for positional control. Various input signal combinations were used to test the system.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Prostheses



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