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Study of Mechanomyographic Alternatives to EMG Sensors for a Low-Cost Open Source Bionic Hand

Marques, J. ; Ramos, S. ; Macedo, M. ; Silva, H.

Study of Mechanomyographic Alternatives to EMG Sensors for a Low-Cost Open Source Bionic Hand, Proc European Alliance for Innovation International Conference on IoT Technologies for HealthCare HealthyIoT, Guimarães, Portugal, Vol. , pp. - , November, 2018.

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Abstract
Traditionally EMG (ElectroMyoGraphic) sensors are the first choice when a prosthetic hand is developed. However different approaches can be used namely, using the detection of changes in muscle volume instead of myoelectric signals. This paper describes a comparative study of three sensors, EMG and two different types of sensors, in order to evaluate their effectiveness in the replacement of usual EMG sensors for low-cost bionic hand development. Besides the obvious EMG sensor, used as a reference, this study was carried out with FSR (Force Sensitive Resistor) and IR (InfraRed) sensors, the output of which is a MMG (MechanoMyoGraphic) signal. The acquisition of signals from these two very low-cost sensors was easily performed using the BITalino platform; EMG signals were directly acquired using the EMG sensor module of BITalino. Preliminary results show that FSR and IR sensors are able to discriminate different gestures in spite of some inconsistencies derived from the non-ideal methods used to apply these sensors to the subjects’ body.