Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine (UMR5287)

Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neuroscience

Université de Bordeaux

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CNRS Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Université de Bordeaux

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Neurocampus Unitéde Formation de Biologie


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Home > Teams > HYBRID (A. De RUGY) > Themes

Theme 1: Myoelectric Arm Control with Sensory Substitution

by Daniel Cattaert, Hybrid, Loïc Grattier - published on

We developed a myoelectric control of an elbow augmented with vibrotactile feedback of elbow position (Fig1A and B). A first experiment on healthy subjects and amputees in collaboration with an Army Hospital (HIA Percy, Fig1C) established that a circular proportional disposition of vibrors elicits the best vibration discrimination (Fig1D, Guémann et al. 2019). Then, we used this disposition of vibrors in a second experiment showing that vibortactile feedback added to vision were preferred by participants to control the avatar, and prevents important drifts encountered in the absence of vision. A short video is available here:

We also developed a simplified myoelectric control whereby a subject reach targets in 2D with isometric force at the wrist reconstructed online from the activity of wrist muscles. This simplified design enables testing coadaptation principles whereby the mapping between muscle activities and the controlled cursor is adjusted in real time as a function of the error produced by subjects during their reaching movements (Couraud et al. 2018). This co-adaptation principle is to be further developed for more complex 3D arm movements in themes 2, 3 and 5.

Our myoelectric control with sensory substitution obtained a FastTrack funds from the society for acceleration of technological transfer AST (Aquitaine Science Transfert) to develop a MyoTact arm band integrating EMG recordings with vibrotactile feedback and Inertial Measurement Unit. The goal of the MyoTact project is to develop a medical device for patients with upper limb amputations. The latest technological developments concerning prostheses allow patients to perform more movements and grips thanks to the activity of residual muscles. However, the scientific literature and the testimony of patients show that these latest generation prostheses are often abandoned after a few months. This is mainly due to the non-intuitive aspect of the command and the lack of sensory feedback. The MyoTact project focusses precisely on these aspects (

- Guémann M, Bouvier S, Halgand C, Paclet F, Borrini L, Ricard D, Lapeyre E, Cattaert D, de Rugy A (2019) Effect of vibration characteristics and vibror arrangement on the tactile perception of the upper arm in healthy subjects and upper limb amputees. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 16(1) 138.
- Couraud M, Cattaert D, Paclet F, Oudeyer PY, de Rugy A (2018) Model and experiments to optimize co-adaptation in a simplified myoelectric control system. Journal of Neural Engineering 15(2):026006