Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

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Recently, it has been proven that targeting motor impairments as early as possible while using wearable mechatronic devices for assisted therapy can improve rehabilitation outcomes. However, despite the advanced progress on control methods for wearable mechatronic devices, the need for a more natural interface that allows for better control remains. To address this issue, electromyography (EMG)-based gesture recognition systems have been studied as a potential solution for human– machine interface applications. Recent studies have focused on developing user-independent gesture recognition interfaces to reduce calibration times for new users. Unfortunately, given the stochastic nature of EMG signals, the performance of these interfaces is negatively impacted. To address this issue, this work presents a user-independent gesture classification method based on a sensor fusion technique that combines EMG data and inertial measurement unit (IMU) data. The Myo Armband was used to measure muscle activity and motion data from healthy subjects. Participants were asked to perform seven types of gestures in four different arm positions while using the Myo on their dominant limb. Data obtained from 22 participants were used to classify the gestures using three different classification methods. Overall, average classification accuracies in the range of 67.5–84.6% were obtained, with the Adaptive Least-Squares Support Vector Machine model obtaining accuracies as high as 92.9%. These results suggest that by using the proposed sensor fusion approach, it is possible to achieve a more natural interface that allows better control of wearable mechatronic devices during robot assisted therapies.