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In recent years, there has been an immense push towards developing “human-like”, multi-articulated bionic arms, capable of realistically replicating dexterous movements and sensing tactile environmental cues. Despite the enormous investment of resources in the development of upper limb prosthetics, “difficulty of use” and “non-intuitive control” continue to be limiting factors often cited by prosthesis users for abandoning their devices. For past 50 years, surface electromyography (sEMG) has been the predominant method for sensing muscle activation. However, sEMG signals suffer from poor amplitude resolution and low signal to noise, resulting in an unreliable and non-intuitive control paradigm. In this talk, I will introduce sonomyography, or ultrasound-based sensing muscle activity as an alternative to myoelectric control. Ultrasound imaging provides a non-invasive sensing modality that can spatially resolve individual muscles, including those deep inside the tissue, and detect dynamic activity within different functional compartments in real-time. In sonomyography, mechanical muscle deformations are sensed using ultrasound, as compared to electrical activation, and therefore the resulting control signals can directly control the position of the end effector.
Dr. Biswarup Mukherjee is currently an Assistant Professor at the Center for Biomedical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is also a faculty at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Prior to joining IIT Delhi, Dr. Mukherjee was a Research Assistant Professor at George Mason University, USA. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, USA. His broad research interest is to develop sensors and instrumentation to augment function in individuals with motor disabilities. He has been the recipient of several awards including the best doctoral thesis award from IIT Madras and Innovation Discovery Award at MGH.