Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces

Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces

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Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces T. Scott Saponas 1 , Desney S. Tan 2 , Dan Morris 2 , Ravin Balakrishnan 3 1 DUB Group, CS and Eng Dept University of Washington Seattle, WA (USA) [email protected] 2 Microsoft Research Redmond, WA (USA) {desney, [email protected] 3 Department of Computer Science University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario (Canada) [email protected] ABSTRACT We explore the feasibility of muscle-computer interfaces (muCIs): an interaction methodology that directly senses and decodes human muscular activity rather than relying on physical device actuation or user actions that are externally visible or audible. As a first step towards realizing the mu- CI concept, we conducted an experiment to explore the potential of exploiting muscular sensing and processing technologies for muCIs. We present results demonstrating accurate gesture classification with an off-the-shelf elec- tromyography (EMG) device. Specifically, using 10 sensors worn in a narrow band around the upper forearm, we were able to differentiate position and pressure of finger presses, as well as classify tapping and lifting gestures across all five fingers. We conclude with discussion of the implica- tions of our results for future muCI designs. Author Keywords: Electromyography (EMG), Muscle- Computer Interfaces (muCIs), input, interaction. ACM Classification Keywords: H.1.2 [User/Machine Sys- tems]; H.5.2 [User Interfaces]: Input devices and strategies; B.4.2 [Input/Output Devices]: Channels and controllers INTRODUCTION Many human-computer interaction technologies are cur- rently mediated by physical transducers such as mice, key- boards, pens, dials, and touch-sensitive surfaces. While these transducers have enabled powerful interaction para- digms and leverage our human expertise in interacting with physical objects, they tether computation to a physical arti- fact that has to be within reach of the user. As computing and displays begin to integrate more seam- lessly into our environment and are used in situations where the user is not always focused on the computing task, it is important to consider mechanisms for acquiring human input that may not necessarily require direct manipulation of a physical implement. For example, drivers attempting to query their vehicle navigation systems may find it advanta- geous to be able to do so without removing their hands from the steering wheel, and a person in a meeting may want to unobtrusively communicate with someone outside. Also, since physical computer input devices have been shown to be prone to collecting microbial contamination in sterile environments [7], techniques that alleviate the need for these implements could be useful in surgical and clean- room settings.
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2010 for the course CS 420 taught by Professor Dawsonengler during the Spring '02 term at San Jose State.

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Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces

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