Strategies for control of neuroprostheses through Brain-Machine Interfaces
Author(s)Kim, Hyun K., Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Mandayam A. Srinivasan.
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The concept of brain controlled machines sparks our imagination with many exciting possibilities. One potential application is in neuroprostheses for paralyzed patients or amputees. The quality of life of those who have extremely limited motor abilities can potentially be improved if we have a means of inferring their motor intent from neural signals and commanding a robotic device that can be controlled to perform as a smart prosthesis. In our recent demonstration of such Brain Machine Interfaces (BMIs) monkeys were able to control a robot arm in 3-D motion directly, due to advances in accessing, recording, and decoding electrical activity of populations of single neurons in the brain, together with algorithms for driving robotic devices with the decoded neural signals in real time. However, such demonstrations of BMI thus far have been limited to simple position control of graphical cursors or robots in free space with non-human primates. There still remain many challenges in reducing this technology to practice in a neuroprosthesis for humans. The research in this thesis introduces strategies for optimizing the information extracted from the recorded neural signals, so that a practically viable and ultimately useful neuroprosthesis can be achieved. A framework for incorporating robot sensors and reflex like behavior has been introduced in the form of Continuous Shared Control. The strategy provides means for more steady and natural movement by compensating for the natural reflexes that are absent in direct brain control. The Muscle Activation Method, an alternative decoding algorithm for extracting motor parameters from the neural activity, has been presented.(cont.) The method allows the prosthesis to be controlled under impedance control, which is similar to how our natural limbs are controlled. Using this method, the prosthesis can perform a much wider range in of tasks in partially known and unknown environments. Finally preparations have been made for clinical trials with humans, which would signify a major step in reaching the ultimate goal of human brain operated machines.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (p. 145-153).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology