DextrEMS: Enhancing Communication through Haptic

DextrEMS is a haptic device allowing the user to spell a subset of American Sign Language by combining an exoskeleton and EMS.

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DextrEMS is a haptic device that facilitates communication between individuals familiar with American Sign Language (ASL) and those who are not. By combining a hand exoskeleton with electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), our device enables precise movements of the user's hand to spell a subset of ASL.

Individuals can transcribe fingerspelled alphabets using our smartphone application by pointing the smartphone camera at an ASL speaker. It leverages MediaPipe's hand-tracking technology to recognize a set of pre-trained, simple ASL fingerspelled signs. The application then guides the non-ASL user's hand with dextrEMS, allowing them to respond by typing into the smartphone.

DextrEMS then applies EMS pulses to the non-ASL user's hand, causing finger muscles to contract and hence move the fingers. The exoskeleton then stabilizes the fingers by locking them to render ASL finger poses accurately.

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