2018 Activity Report vol.2:University of Electro-Communications

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.2

Chinese students learn the technique related to surface myoelectric measurement and myoelectric prosthetic hand control

Report from the University of Electro-Communications

Ten graduate students and a supervising teacher from the Information Control Engineering College, Nankai University of China were invited to the Brain Science Inspired Life Support Research Center, with the support of the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, from May 28th to June 6th, 2018 for a period of 10 days, and technical training on surface myoelectric measurement and myoelectric prosthetic hand control was conducted.

Measurement and analysis of bioelectric signals, and robot control technologies based on human intention interpreted from biological signals are the key technologies driving the evolution of medical welfare technology, and have been gaining worldwide attention in recent years. In this exchange plan, training for the production of a newly developed laminated myoelectric electrode was conducted by focusing on the electrodes that greatly affect stability and nature of signal, when measuring myoelectric signals from the skin surface.

The visiting students were divided into three groups, trial manufacturing of electrodes with different materials was made along with the students of the accepting organization, and the quality of myoelectric signals obtained by the measurement using each electrode were compared. The interaction between the faculty members and students was deepened by conducting visits, report meetings, and completion ceremony.

1. Laboratory introduction and explanation of research contents

On May 29th, the group of invited students visited the Brain Science Inspired Life Support Research Center at the University of Electro-Communications, introduced themselves with the host students, and then a lecture were made on myoelectric measurement and myoelectric prosthetic hands by the faculty members of the accepting organization. In the lectures, an outline of myoelectric prosthetic hands, the mechanism of myoelectric signal generation, and introduction to task and solution of myoelectric measurement and analysis were given, and the importance of myoelectric electrode based on the application in daily life was emphasized. After the lecture, TA students explained the method of making laminated myoelectric electrode, and the three groups decided the order of materials combination in each group.

Lecture on myoelectric measurement and myoelectric prosthetic hands

2. Manufacturing and evaluation of laminated myoelectric electrode

After the explanation, they were divided into 3 groups, and manufactured the myoelectric sensors starting with the preparation of electrode material. The field of specialization of the invited students was totally different, and in spite of it everyone was eagerly engaged with great interest in the preparation of material. They made exchanges with TA students while doing the team work, and as a result of five days of effort, they completed everything from the materials to myoelectric sensors. They measured myoelectric signals using the myoelectric sensors made by them, and evaluated the performance of myoelectric sensors based on the SN ratio of the measured signal. They evaluated 12 types of sensors with different electrode materials and selected optimum material.

photo2 Preparation of electrode material
photo3 Design of myoelectric sensor

3. Laboratory tour and cultural exchange

On June 2nd (Saturday) a tour was given of the laboratory inside the university, by utilizing the graduate school open laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications. The invited students were able to visit the laboratories of various fields such as information, electronics, materials, mechanics, chemistry, etc., and realized the diversity and freedom of research at Japanese universities. On June 3rd (Sunday) a tour to Mt. Fuji was planned. The invited students visited the long-awaited Mt. Fuji, and also felt at home with the Japanese food during lunch.

Photograph taken at the fifth station of Mt. Fuji

4. Report meeting and completion ceremony

On June 5th, the result of the collaborative research of myoelectric sensor and the impression of exchanges was summarized, and a results report meeting was held. Many faculty members and students participated in the results report meeting, active discussions were held, and exchanges were deepened. After the exchange meeting, a completion ceremony for the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science was conducted.

Through the above exchange activities, the invited students deepened their understanding of myoelectric signals and prosthetic hand control technologies, and were able to experience the laboratory life of Japanese universities. The visitors were able to realize the natural, societal and cultural characteristics of Japan, and highly appreciated the thorough and smooth implementation of the program. They expressed their gratitude to the faculty members and TA students of the accepting organization for their enthusiastic support, and also expressed that they would like to deepen the collaborative research in the future.

At the completion ceremony