In last couple of years several techniques have been designed to fight many deceases involving limbs and muscles. Several kinds of prosthetics have been invented to resolve the problems that amputees are facing but all of these current techniques are either very costly or are not very feasible. Still millions of people are not able to afford these cures or prosthetics. To search one unified solution for cure and prosthetics a group of young electrical engineers step ahead and designed one unified solution for various problems.
Electromyography (EMG) signals can be used for clinical/biomedical applications, Evolvable Hardware Chip (EHW) development, and modern human computer interaction. EMG signals acquired from muscles require advanced methods for detection, decomposition, processing, and classification. For the detection of EMG signal, a really precise EMG Sensor is required. Right now there is not even a single industry which manufactures this sensor in Pakistan. All the sensors currently are being imported.
Mark II electromyography wave sensor and robotic claw, an effort of more than 1 and half month. More than 2000 lines of code. Analysis of more than 100000 points. Electromyography is a medical technique used to monitor the working of muscles. This technique involves the placement of electrodes on some special places to body depends upon the muscles you are trying to target. Then you to connect those to electrodes to special circuitry and you can monitor muscle activity. With this you can analyze various deceases and Parkinson’s is one of them and not only this we can also use Electromyography in prosthetics. Mark II is peak of optimization. It’s just one circuit board having couple of integrated amplifiers and few other components and coupled with a very effective microcontroller form Taxes Instruments based on ARM processor architecture and with a dedicated hardware you can use it with a dedicated software to do real-time plotting. With build in data processing tools analysis is no more a problem. Data logging is now integrated and you are not going to miss even a single point because of a transmission rate of 115200 bits/sec. And not just data logging you can even play the recorded data again.
When we talk about the machine learning in it, we recoded thousands of points and analyzed those using a number of analytical techniques. We modified the algorithm for one specific person. And tested again and again. After recursively modifying the raw data it became highly precise for that person.
Now let’s come to the prosthetic claw. Claw was designed by KICS UET. It has a servo on it which compels it to open and close at the detection of peak. Now that’s the point where DSP plays its role in detection of peak and differentiating between an EMG signal and noise. For that purpose we are checking the slope of curve at each point. There is a sharp slope at the point of peak and a smooth slop at normal points. So detecting that point we generated a PWM to drive the motor. All Parts of this project is printed with KICS 3D printing facility.
So that’s how it works.
Now let’s come to its uses and future prospects in the field of medical sciences. Studies in the field of signal processing, especially, surface electromyography signals, have been widely used for understanding the dynamic motions by the fact that most human movements happening dynamically. As mentioned earlier this technology is not common in Pakistan. With the advancement of engineering engineers in Pakistan are trying to link biomedical science with engineering. MARK –II is a step of it. The modules and prosthetics are imported from abroad for treatment purposes which is really expensive. With the introduction of MARK-II we can not only improve this technology in Pakistan but also can make it available for middle class people.
When we discuss its prospects worldwide then we can observe that mounting the module and sensor in in gadget is new. Researchers are finding a solution to this problem of one detachable gadget. MARK-II will solve this problem in near future.
In the end what is the purpose of it? As mentioned earlier “One Unified Solution to all Muscular Problems”. Making this technology available to all. It’s just a first step for such a massive goal. It will take time. But it is possible and we can make it happen. Inshallah.