Indirect sensing and mapping of deep muscle activities using non-contact capacitive sensing utilising electric field disturbance technique, to be used as a wearable device to provide predictive control for assistive devices

Project Team Leader
A/Prof Thor Besier, UoA

Project Team
Dr Massoud Alipour, UoA
Dr Gautam Anand, AUT

Project Summary
Electromyography (EMG) is a technique used to estimate the activation of human skeletal muscle and has many applications for rehabilitation and assistive technologies. Traditional EMG uses conductive electrodes, which have several limitations. Firstly, the skin must be shaved, cleaned and a conductive gel applied to improve signal quality. This step can cause skin irritation and is not effective for long-term monitoring (e.g. >6hrs). Secondly, conductive EMG electrodes only measure activity of muscles that lie close to the surface of the skin and their size limits their use in certain applications (e.g. infeasible for measuring muscle activity within an amputee socket). Indwelling, needle-based electrodes are required to measure deep muscle activity and high-density electrode arrays are required to obtain spatial variation in muscle activity.