Evaluation of Optimal Vibrotactile Feedback for Force-Controlled Upper Limb Myoelectric Prostheses

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Nov 28;19(23):5209. doi: 10.3390/s19235209.


The main goal of this study is to evaluate how to optimally select the best vibrotactile pattern to be used in a closed loop control of upper limb myoelectric prostheses as a feedback of the exerted force. To that end, we assessed both the selection of actuation patterns and the effects of the selection of frequency and amplitude parameters to discriminate between different feedback levels. A single vibrotactile actuator has been used to deliver the vibrations to subjects participating in the experiments. The results show no difference between pattern shapes in terms of feedback perception. Similarly, changes in amplitude level do not reflect significant improvement compared to changes in frequency. However, decreasing the number of feedback levels increases the accuracy of feedback perception and subject-specific variations are high for particular participants, showing that a fine-tuning of the parameters is necessary in a real-time application to upper limb prosthetics. In future works, the effects of training, location, and number of actuators will be assessed. This optimized selection will be tested in a real-time proportional myocontrol of a prosthetic hand.

Keywords: prosthetics; sensory feedback; vibrotactile actuation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Electromyography
  • Feedback, Sensory
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Vibration
  • Young Adult