OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using an inductive tongue control system (ITCS) for controlling robotic/prosthetic hands and arms.
METHODS: This work presents a novel dual modal control scheme for multi-grasp robotic hands combining standard EMG with the ITCS. The performance of the ITCS control scheme was evaluated in a comparative study. Ten healthy subjects used both the ITCS control scheme and a conventional EMG control scheme to complete grasping exercises with the IH1 Azzurra robotic hand implementing five grasps. Time to activate a desired function or grasp was used as the performance metric.
RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found when comparing the performance of the two control schemes. On average, the ITCS control scheme was 1.15 seconds faster than the EMG control scheme, corresponding to a 35.4 % reduction in the activation time. The largest difference was for grasp 5 with a mean AT reduction of 45.3 % (2.38 s).
CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that using the ITCS control scheme could allow for faster activation of specific grasps or functions compared with a conventional EMG control scheme.
SIGNIFICANCE: For transhumeral and especially bilateral amputees, the ITCS control scheme could have a significant impact on the prosthesis control. In addition, the ITCS would provide bilateral amputees with the additional advantage of environmental and computer control for which the ITCS was originally developed.