Unfortunately, this past week has been very slow for the hand project because I’ve been sick with the flu. Despite my absence, progress has still been made – thanks to shipping companies! In a few days, (or maybe even tomorrow!) the first electromyographic test circuit should arrive at Westtown, and I’ll be able to begin experimenting with EMG signals.
I’ll be experimenting during this next week with an Arduino “duemilanove” and the “Muscle Sensor Kit v3” from Advancer Technologies. Depending on how many usable signals I get with the muscle sensor kit, a whole range of things could occur. If I get one usable signal, the hand will be able to be opened and closed. If I get multiple signals, it would be possible to control separate fingers, or to have different built in functions. I’ll be testing the muscle sensor kit on myself at first, and I’ll use it to power LEDs or small motors, but in the future it will be used by the recipient of the prosthetic hand to control different actions – like pointing with the hand, or making a fist.
The next few weeks should be very exciting for the project, now that things have started rolling. Who knows? By the end of this month, I could have a system that implements basic EMG control for the hand!