On April 23, 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Hannover Messe. In this short news clip of that day, she shakes the hand of the DLR-Light-Weight Robot III with Five-Finger-Hand, which has been used in novel brain-machine interface experiments involving a quadruplegic participant in a collaboration with Brown University.
In these experiments, neural signals recorded in the human motor cortex are decoded in continuous motion commands, that are executed by the robot. Additionally a binary state signal is used to trigger grasping actions with the robotic hand. This combination of state-of-the-art robotics and advanced neuro-prosthesis can potentially allow a person with severe physical disabilities to interact with their environment again.
We also use surface EMG for controlling the grasp force of the hand as well as the position of the arm in a user-intuitive manner. To this end, an adaptive system learns the correspondence between the human hand position and orientation and the muscular activity measured at the skin surface. Thereby we can control to move the arm and grasp an object in teleoperation / telemanipulation. Such control schemes are also applicable in rehabilitation and orthoses environments.
Read more on our body-machine interfaces here.