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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 2, Pages 101-111

Development of a Multi-DOF Electromyography Prosthetic System Using the Adaptive Joint Mechanism

A. Hernandez Arieta,1 R. Katoh,1 H. Yokoi,1 and Y. Wenwei2

1Precision Engineering Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
2Laboratory of Bioinstrumentation and Biomechatronics, University of Chiba, Bunkyo-ku, Hongo 7-3-1, 113–8656, Japan

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes an electrically powered prosthetic system controlled by electromyography (EMG) signal detected from the skin surface of the human body. The research of electrically powered prosthetic systems is divided into two main subjects. One is the design of the joint mechanism. We propose the use of an adaptive joint mechanism based on the tendon-driven architecture. This mechanism includes mechanical torque–velocity converters and a mechanism to assist the proximal joint torque by distal actuators. The other subject is the recognition of the EMG signal. For the discrimination of many patterns and nonlinear properties of the EMG signal, we propose a controller based on a simple pattern recognition information process. The system also drives 12 servomotors to move the adaptive joint mechanism. In this paper, we show the proposed system and describe the mechanical design of the prosthetic hand. The experimental results show that the electrically powered devices can be controlled using the proposed method.