Le 01/12/2022 de 15:00 à 16:30

Retour Session


Sensory substitution of elbow proprioception to improve myoelectric control of upper limb prosthesis

Matthieu Guémann (Brétigny-sur-Orge, France)

Objective : Current myoelectric prostheses lack proprioceptive information and rely on vision for their control. Sensory substitution is increasingly developed with non-invasive vibrotactile or electrotactile feedback, but most systems are designed for grasping or object discriminations. The objective was to evaluate the effect of a novel vibrotactile feedback on the accuracy of myoelectric control of a virtual elbow by healthy subjects and participants with an upper-limb amputation.

Material / Patients and Methods : Sixteen, healthy participants and 7 transhumeral amputees performed myoelectric control of a virtual arm under different feedback conditions: vision alone (VIS), vibration alone (VIB), vision plus vibration (VIS + VIB), or no feedback at all (NO). Reach accuracy was evaluated by angular errors during discrete as well as back and forth movements.

Results : Reach errors were higher in NO than in VIB. Conditions VIS and VIS+VIB display similar levels of performance and produced lower errors than in VIB. Vision remains therefore critical to maintain good performance, which is not ameliorated nor deteriorated by the addition of vibrotactile feedback. The workload associated with VIB was higher than for VIS and VIS+VIB. 62.5% of healthy subjects preferred the VIS+VIB condition, and ranked VIS and VIB second and third, respectively.

Discussion - Conclusion : Our novel vibrotactile feedback improved myoelectric control of a virtual elbow as compared to no feedback. Although vision remained critical, the addition of vibrotactile feedback did not improve nor deteriorate the control and was preferred by participants. Longer training should improve performances with VIB alone and reduce the need of vision for close-loop prosthesis control.

Keywords : Amputation, myoelectric control, proprioception, sensory substitution