Learning from master's muscles : EMG-based bio-feedback tool for augmenting manual fabrication and crafting
Author(s)Bernal Cubias, Guillermo Roman
EMG-based bio-feedback tool for augmenting manual fabrication and crafting
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Takehiko Nagakura and Federico Casalegno.
MetadataShow full item record
Learning a novel skill is a time consuming process and can be frustrating at times. It may require hours of supervised training before a minimum level of proficiency can even be attained. For example in ceramics, centering the clay on the pottery wheel is a challenging task, which must be mastered before one can even begin to create an object. The objective of this thesis is to design and implement a wearable device that aids novices during the skill acquisition process of any such procedural motor task. The goal of the wearable device is to significantly reduce the amount of time needed to familiarize oneself with a new technique and medium, and to quickly attain a basic level of proficiency. This is achieved by providing students continuous visual feedback, which compares their on-going movements to that of a master craftsman performing the identical task recorded beforehand. Illuminated LEDs placed on the student's forearm relate movement kinematics, an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope and muscle activity, all of which are recorded using electromyography (EMG) electrodes in real-time. The device thereby augments the sensory feedback available to the student during skill acquisition and enables them to correct their movements to match those of the master craftsman as an immediate reaction. In pilot studies, the device was evaluated within the context of pottery wheel-throwing; specifically, forearm kinematics and muscle activation during the centering of the clay were investigated. Movement feedback and data are discussed in relation to the current theories on sensorimotor control and learning. The initial results were evaluated with respect to the amount of time taken to become comfortable with the skill at hand. While there are a number of possible applications of the device, two main areas are discussed: 1) The device has the potential to become a disruptive technology, fundamentally changing traditional methods of learning and teaching arts and crafts, both in the studio/classroom environment and for autodidacts at home; 2) The device may have significant clinical impact in the field of neurorehabilitation and motor (re)education after a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Finally, an archive of expert performances for any given motor skill may be generated using the wearable device; an archive anyone could consult when learning a new skill whether it be out of curiosity or out of necessity.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-111).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology