"Insulated Electromyography for Myoelectric Prostesis Control"
Insulated Electromyography for Myoelectric Prostesis Control
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Myoelectric prostheses help amputees to regain independence and a higher quality of life. These prostheses are controlled by the remaining muscle tissue. During muscle contractions, an electrical signal can be measured on the skin surface. State-of-the-art sensors use a conductive connection to the skin, whereby the coupling impedance depends on sweat. Due to the necessary contact pressure, these sensors might cause pressure marks, which are detrimental for patients with circulatory disorders. However, these form a large group of amputees. In the dissertation, capacitive electromyography sensors were developed to overcome the disadvantages associated with conductive sensors. The capacitive sensors have an insulation layer between sensor and skin. These are thus insensitive to changes of the sweat level, dry skin or strong hairiness and pressure marks are avoided due to the flexible sensor. Especially the developed textile sensors are very comfortable to wear and can be integrated into the prosthesis socket or clothing. The coupling element as well as the precision electronics and the algorithms for digital signal processing on a low-power real-time system were developed within the scope of the dissertation. In addition, a wireless transmission of the measurement data via a Bluetooth low energy module was implemented. Special attention was paid to the robustness of the sensor system outside the laboratory environment. Due to the stability of the system during various interferences, the performance of the myoelectric prostheses could be significantly improved.