Develop an EMG-based controller for Lorelei’s exoskeleton

About Lorelei

Lorelei is 9 years old and lives in Los Angeles. She loves drawing, traveling and playing with her brother. A few years ago, she got infected by a virus that left her left arm partially paralyzed.

Challenge

Lorelei and her father have been developing a 3D-printed exoskeleton ever since her left arm got paralyzed. The goal of this challenge was to develop an EMG-based controller for her exoskeleton, in order to actuate the exoskeleton using her remaining muscle activity. Check out the video below to learn more about Lorelei, her father and their challenge.

Solutions

The team used MyoBand (a commercial EMG armband) to control the actuators. Currently, the Myoband is only suitable for adult forearms, and was thus too large for Lorelei’s forearm. To tackle this problem, the team developed a sleeve for the armband to keep the sensors tightly pressed to detect biceps contractions. In addition, a modified version of the arm brace was 3D-printed to attach actuators of different sizes and forces. The last step was the implementation of an algorithm that received the EMG signals coming from the MyoBand and process them into a command that sends a torque to the exoskeleton motor.

Video