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Frontiers in Neurorobotics

Wentao Sun, Jinying Zhu, Yinlai Jiang, Hiroshi Yokoi, Qiang Huang
Estimating muscle force by surface electromyography (sEMG) is a non-invasive and flexible way to diagnose biomechanical diseases and control assistive devices such as prosthetic hands. To estimate muscle force using sEMG, a supervised method is commonly adopted. This requires simultaneous recording of sEMG signals and muscle force measured by additional devices to tune the variables involved. However, recording the muscle force of the lost limb of an amputee is challenging, and the supervised method has limitations in this regard...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Diego Torricelli, Camilo Cortés, Nerea Lete, Álvaro Bertelsen, Jose E Gonzalez-Vargas, Antonio J Del-Ama, Iris Dimbwadyo, Juan C Moreno, Julian Florez, Jose L Pons
The relative motion between human and exoskeleton is a crucial factor that has remarkable consequences on the efficiency, reliability and safety of human-robot interaction. Unfortunately, its quantitative assessment has been largely overlooked in the literature. Here, we present a methodology that allows predicting the motion of the human joints from the knowledge of the angular motion of the exoskeleton frame. Our method combines a subject-specific skeletal model with a kinematic model of a lower limb exoskeleton (H2, Technaid), imposing specific kinematic constraints between them...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Galit Hofree, Paul Ruvolo, Audrey Reinert, Marian S Bartlett, Piotr Winkielman
Facial actions are key elements of non-verbal behavior. Perceivers' reactions to others' facial expressions often represent a match or mirroring (e.g., they smile to a smile). However, the information conveyed by an expression depends on context. Thus, when shown by an opponent, a smile conveys bad news and evokes frowning. The availability of anthropomorphic agents capable of facial actions raises the question of how people respond to such agents in social context. We explored this issue in a study where participants played a strategic game with or against a facially expressive android...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Baojun Chen, Lorenzo Grazi, Francesco Lanotte, Nicola Vitiello, Simona Crea
Repetitive lifting of heavy loads increases the risk of back pain and even lumbar vertebral injuries to workers. Active exoskeletons can help workers lift loads by providing power assistance, and therefore reduce the moment and force applied on L5/S1 joint of human body when performing lifting tasks. However, most existing active exoskeletons for lifting assistance are unable to automatically detect user's lift movement, which limits the wide application of active exoskeletons in factories. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective lift detection strategy for exoskeleton control...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Shaowei Yao, Yu Zhuang, Zhijun Li, Rong Song
Various rehabilitation robots have been employed to recover the motor function of stroke patients. To improve the effect of rehabilitation, robots should promote patient participation and provide compliant assistance. This paper proposes an adaptive admittance control scheme (AACS) consisting of an admittance filter, inner position controller, and electromyography (EMG)-driven musculoskeletal model (EDMM). The admittance filter generates the subject's intended motion according to the joint torque estimated by the EDMM...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Annette Hagengruber, Hannes Höppner, Jörn Vogel
A key factor for reliable object manipulation is the tactile information provided by the skin of our hands. As this sensory information is so essential in our daily life it should also be provided during teleoperation of robotic devices or in the control of myoelectric prostheses. It is well-known that feeding back the tactile information to the user can lead to a more natural and intuitive control of robotic devices. However, in some applications it is difficult to use the hands as natural feedback channels since they may already be overloaded with other tasks or, e...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Giulia Ballardini, Giorgio Carlini, Psiche Giannoni, Robert A Scheidt, Ilana Nisky, Maura Casadio
Many neurological diseases impair the motor and somatosensory systems. While several different technologies are used in clinical practice to assess and improve motor functions, somatosensation is evaluated subjectively with qualitative clinical scales. Treatment of somatosensory deficits has received limited attention. To bridge the gap between the assessment and training of motor vs. somatosensory abilities, we designed, developed, and tested a novel, low-cost, two-component (bimanual) mechatronic system targeting tactile somatosensation: the Tactile-STAR -a tactile stimulator and recorder...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Alix Chadwell, Laurence Kenney, Sibylle Thies, Adam Galpin, John Head
[This corrects the article on p. 7 in vol. 10, PMID: 27597823.].
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Marta Gandolla, Eleonora Guanziroli, Andrea D'Angelo, Giovanni Cannaviello, Franco Molteni, Alessandra Pedrocchi
Stroke-related locomotor impairments are often associated with abnormal timing and intensity of recruitment of the affected and non-affected lower limb muscles. Restoring the proper lower limbs muscles activation is a key factor to facilitate recovery of gait capacity and performance, and to reduce maladaptive plasticity. Ekso is a wearable powered exoskeleton robot able to support over-ground gait training. The user controls the exoskeleton by triggering each single step during the gait cycle. The fine-tuning of the exoskeleton control system is crucial-it is set according to the residual functional abilities of the patient, and it needs to ensure lower limbs powered gait to be the most physiological as possible...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Georg Stillfried, Johannes Stepper, Hannah Neppl, Jörn Vogel, Hannes Höppner
Recently, progress has been made in the development of mechanical joints with variable intrinsic stiffness, opening up the search for application areas of such variable-stiffness joints. By varying the stiffness of its joints, the resonant frequency of a system can be tuned to perform cyclical tasks most energy-efficiently, making the variable-stiffness joint a candidate element for an advanced prosthetic device specifically designed for the cyclical task of drumming. A prerequisite for a successful variable-stiffness drumming prosthesis is the ability of human drummers to profitably employ different stiffness levels for playing different beats...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Dadhichi Shukla, Özgür Erkent, Justus Piater
Designed to work safely alongside humans, collaborative robots need to be capable partners in human-robot teams. Besides having key capabilities like detecting gestures, recognizing objects, grasping them, and handing them over, these robots need to seamlessly adapt their behavior for efficient human-robot collaboration. In this context we present the fast, supervised Proactive Incremental Learning (PIL) framework for learning associations between human hand gestures and the intended robotic manipulation actions...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Yoshinobu Hagiwara, Masakazu Inoue, Hiroyoshi Kobayashi, Tadahiro Taniguchi
In this paper, we propose a hierarchical spatial concept formation method based on the Bayesian generative model with multimodal information e.g., vision, position and word information. Since humans have the ability to select an appropriate level of abstraction according to the situation and describe their position linguistically, e.g., "I am in my home" and "I am in front of the table," a hierarchical structure of spatial concepts is necessary in order for human support robots to communicate smoothly with users...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Aïsha Sahaï, Elisabeth Pacherie, Ouriel Grynszpan, Bruno Berberian
[This corrects the article on p. 52 in vol. 11, PMID: 29081744.].
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Rehan, Keum-Shik Hong
This paper exploits the dynamical modeling, behavior analysis, and synchronization of a network of four different FitzHugh-Nagumo (FHN) neurons with unknown parameters linked in a ring configuration under direction-dependent coupling. The main purpose is to investigate a robust adaptive control law for the synchronization of uncertain and perturbed neurons, communicating in a medium of bidirectional coupling. The neurons are assumed to be different and interconnected in a ring structure. The strength of the gap junctions is taken to be different for each link in the network, owing to the inter-neuronal coupling medium properties...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Clemente Lauretti, Francesca Cordella, Anna Lisa Ciancio, Emilio Trigili, Jose Maria Catalan, Francisco Javier Badesa, Simona Crea, Silvio Marcello Pagliara, Silvia Sterzi, Nicola Vitiello, Nicolas Garcia Aracil, Loredana Zollo
The reference joint position of upper-limb exoskeletons is typically obtained by means of Cartesian motion planners and inverse kinematics algorithms with the inverse Jacobian; this approach allows exploiting the available Degrees of Freedom (i.e. DoFs) of the robot kinematic chain to achieve the desired end-effector pose; however, if used to operate non-redundant exoskeletons, it does not ensure that anthropomorphic criteria are satisfied in the whole human-robot workspace. This paper proposes a motion planning system, based on Learning by Demonstration, for upper-limb exoskeletons that allow successfully assisting patients during Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in unstructured environment, while ensuring that anthropomorphic criteria are satisfied in the whole human-robot workspace...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Lukas Everding, Jörg Conradt
In order to safely navigate and orient in their local surroundings autonomous systems need to rapidly extract and persistently track visual features from the environment. While there are many algorithms tackling those tasks for traditional frame-based cameras, these have to deal with the fact that conventional cameras sample their environment with a fixed frequency. Most prominently, the same features have to be found in consecutive frames and corresponding features then need to be matched using elaborate techniques as any information between the two frames is lost...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Tyagi Ramakrishnan, Christina-Anne Lahiff, Kyle B Reed
Physical changes such as leg length discrepancy, the addition of a mass at the distal end of the leg, the use of a prosthetic, and stroke frequently result in an asymmetric gait. This paper presents a metric that can potentially serve as a benchmark to categorize and differentiate between multiple asymmetric bipedal gaits. The combined gait asymmetry metric (CGAM) is based on modified Mahalanobis distances, and it utilizes the asymmetries of gait parameters obtained from motion capture and force data recorded during human walking...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Yao Zhang, Yanjian Liao, Xiaoying Wu, Lin Chen, Qiliang Xiong, Zhixian Gao, Xiaolin Zheng, Guanglin Li, Wensheng Hou
So far, little is known how the sample assignment of surface electromyogram (sEMG) features in training set influences the recognition efficiency of hand gesture, and the aim of this study is to explore the impact of different sample arrangements in training set on the classification of hand gestures dominated with similar muscle activation patterns. Seven right-handed healthy subjects (24.2 ± 1.2 years) were recruited to perform similar grasping tasks (fist, spherical, and cylindrical grasping) and similar pinch tasks (finger, key, and tape pinch)...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Manelle Merad, Étienne de Montalivet, Amélie Touillet, Noël Martinet, Agnès Roby-Brami, Nathanaël Jarrassé
Most transhumeral amputees report that their prosthetic device lacks functionality, citing the control strategy as a major limitation. Indeed, they are required to control several degrees of freedom with muscle groups primarily used for elbow actuation. As a result, most of them choose to have a one-degree-of-freedom myoelectric hand for grasping objects, a myoelectric wrist for pronation/supination, and a body-powered elbow. Unlike healthy upper limb movements, the prosthetic elbow joint angle, adjusted prior to the motion, is not involved in the overall upper limb movements, causing the rest of the body to compensate for the lack of mobility of the prosthesis...
2018: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Claudia Álvarez-Aparicio, Ángel Manuel Guerrero-Higueras, Maria Carmen Calvo Olivera, Francisco J Rodríguez-Lera, Francisco Martín, Vicente Matellán
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
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