Our second group of summer research interns completed their projects last week. Read more below for a summary of the projects they tackled this summer.
Liora Altman-Sagan, Biomedical Engineering major and Biotechnology minor at Northwestern University
Project Title: The Impact of EMG Channel Number on the Accuracy of Myoelectric Control Systems in Operating Upper-Limb Prostheses
This summer I worked with myoelectric control systems for the operation of upper-limb prostheses. The goal was to determine if increasing the number of EMG channels used to collect data from a subject would increase the accuracy of movement classifiers, which were constructed using pattern recognition software.
Richard Beile, Santa Clara University
Project Title: Development of a Diagnostic Sensor System for the Standing Wheelchair
My project focused on developing a system which would allow researchers to have access to meaningful, quantitative sensor information from the RERC standing wheelchair. To accomplish this, I created a system which utilized two AS5145 magnetic encoders to measure chair angle and odometry. For chair angle, the system outputs time in the sitting position, transition between sitting and standing, and time in the standing position. For odometry, the measurements are total distance forward and backward, average velocity and peak velocity. Additionally, I utilized two force sensors (placed on the seat) to measure the total time the chair is occupied and vacant. All of this raw information is then processed and encrypted by a Particle Boron LTE board, stored locally on an SD card and then uploaded to Amazon S3 once per hour. Once the encrypted sensor information is stored in the cloud, it can then be accessed by any researcher or clinician who has the correct decryption key.
Sydney Bernstein, Biomedical Engineering Major at Northwestern University
Project Title: The Effect of a Gate Classifier on the Myoelectric Control of a Virtual Reality Limb
Myoelectric control of a prosthesis is when the user controls his or her prosthetic limb using features extracted from an EMG. This summer, I examined whether the addition of a gate classifier would increase the precise control of a prosthetic limb. I did this by performing an experiment that tested able-bodied participants on their control of a virtual reality limb using both our current control system and the current control system with the additional gate classifier.
Jack Fleischman, Colorado State University
Project Title: Testing Signal-to-Noise Ratio as a Viable Metric in EMG Signal Rejection
This summer I worked on data processing for the Inpatient Sensors Study. Specifically, I collected data to test the viability of using the Signal-to-Noise Ratio as a metric for determining whether or not EMG data collected in the main study is usable or if the noise in the signal is too strong.
Seamus Hudnut, Bioengineering major at Santa Clara University
Project Title: Breakaway Device for Transfemoral Osseointegrated Prosthetics
Bone fractures and implant damage are unfortunate hindrances to the widespread use of osseointegration as a method of prosthetic attachment. I worked on creating a proof-of-concept prototype that will mitigate these concerns. Based on previous work done by research engineers in the Center for Bionic Medicine, I investigated and then implemented a custom force sensing system on the device that will serve as the bare-bones baseline for future work.
Sophie Jenz, Northwestern University
Project Title: Evaluation of gait symmetry after stroke: A comparison of multiple methods
This summer I investigated the use of transcutaneous spinal stimulation to improve the motor function of patients who have suffered a stroke. In particular, I examined various ways to analyze GAITrite data in order to quantify a change in gait symmetry, the difference between paretic and non-paretic steps, and standardize calculations used for the rest of this on-going clinical trial.