Controlling PC with uEMG

A project log for uEMG - small 4-channel EMG wearable device

A 4-channel EMG wearable (with a bracelet!) to control stuff with it.

Olya GryOlya Gry 10/18/2021 at 13:480 Comments

Our main goal with this device is to control stuff with muscle signals. And this is the first step! In-built IMU is used to control mouse cursor, and various combinations of muscles generate mouse click, scroll up and scroll down events.

Squeezing 4th and 5th fingers together results in mouse click, thumbs up results in scrolling up, and for scrolling down we used some less obvious combination of 2nd and 3rd fingers squeezing.

What is interesting - fingers motions that are easy to describe are not so convenient for processing, and in fact not that convenient for performing. We take individual finger motions for granted, that's what we learned in early childhood - but in order to achieve it, our motor cortex performs a complex activation pattern of multiple muscles which is not only hard to recognize from activity pattern, but it's also not the simplest way of utilizing available muscles! With some - quite brief - training, strange muscle patterns that produce hard to describe finger motions are in fact easier to perform and much easier to recognize. 

We just started exploring those patterns - but it seems to be a totally new way of interaction. Instead of gestures that are visually distinct, we are going to use gestures that are _electrically_ distinct, even though describing or showing them is not that easy.