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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v30.i456.80
pages 459-485

Control of Multifunctional Prosthetic Hands by Processing the Electromyographic Signal

M. Zecca
ARTS Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pontedera, Italy
Silvestro Micera
ARTS Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Polo Sant'Anna Valdera, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio, 34, 56025 Pontedera (PI), Italy
M. C. Carrozza
ARTS Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pontedera, Italy
P. Dario
ARTS Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pontedera, Italy

ABSTRACT

The human hand is a complex system, with a large number of degrees of freedom (DoFs), sensors embedded in its structure, actuators and tendons, and a complex hierarchical control. Despite this complexity, the efforts required to the user to carry out the different movements is quite small (albeit after an appropriate and lengthy training). On the contrary, prosthetic hands are just a pale replication of the natural hand, with significantly reduced grasping capabilities and no sensory information delivered back to the user. Several attempts have been carried out to develop multifunctional prosthetic devices controlled by electromyographic (EMG) signals (myoelectric hands), harness (kinematic hands), dimensional changes in residual muscles, and so forth, but none of these methods permits the "natural" control of more than two DoFs. This article presents a review of the traditional methods used to control artificial hands by means of EMG signal, in both the clinical and research contexts, and introduces what could be the future developments in the control strategy of these devices.


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