This paper describes a real-time isometric pinch force prediction algorithm using surface electromyogram (sEMG). The activities of seven muscles related to the movements of the thumb and index finger joints, which are observable using surface electrodes, were recorded during pinch force experiments. For the successful implementation of the real-time prediction algorithm, an off-line analysis was performed using the recorded activities. From the seven muscles, four muscles were selected for monitoring using the Fisher linear discriminant paradigm in an off-line analysis, and the recordings from these four muscles provided the most effective information for mapping sEMG to the pinch force. An ANN structure was designed to perform efficient training and to avoid both under-fitting and over-fitting problems. Finally, the pinch force prediction algorithm was tested with five volunteers and the results were evaluated using two criteria: normalized root mean squared error (NRMSE) and correlation (CORR). The training time for the subjects was only 2 min 29 sec, but the prediction results were successful with NRMSE = 0.093 ±0.047 and CORR = 0.957 ±0.031. These results imply that the proposed algorithm is useful to measure the generated pinch force without force sensors. The possible applications of the proposed method include controlling bionic finger robot systems to overcome finger paralysis or amputation.
The 2nd IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, pp.79 - 84