We developed a novel interface that gives upper-limb amputees a virtual hand that can manipulate objects in a challenging environment. The interface registers specific myokinetic activity of the residual limbs, and encodes the intended voluntary movements that are then actualized as virtual hand motions. The composite myokinetic interface-virtual reality (MKI-VR) system consists of an array of pressure sensors mounted in an arm sleeve, sensors of elbow- and shoulder-joint angles, a trained filter derived from the pseudoinverse of a response matrix, and a virtual hand model, programmed in Java 3D. Users can manipulate virtual objects such as balls and pegs in a 3D training environment, while their performance at various difficulty levels is scored. In preliminary tests, upper-limb amputees readily gained the ability to grasp and release virtual objects. We propose the utility of the MKI-VR system both as an assessment tool for rehabilitation engineers, and as a motivator for amputees to exercise and thereby maintain their residual motor ability.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.