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  • #16
    Simulating Ideal Assistive Devices to Reduce the Metabolic Cost of Running

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0163417

    Introduction

    Designing assistance for running vast distance is now quite a common pursuit, As reducing the power your muscles devour could markedly ease your commute. A current concern is how to discern what torque would be best at each joint—We use simulations to search for locations and patterns of torques to appoint. The pipeline we use could help someone to choose an assistive device to design, With the energy burned by each muscle concerned guiding how to revise and refine.

    T. K. U.
    The human body has evolved over millions of years into a system that is efficient at bipedal locomotion [1] while remaining amazingly versatile. A consequence of this versatility is that the properties of our musculoskeletal system are not ideally suited for any single physical activity in which we engage. An analogous situation is readily apparent in penguins, which are expert swimmers but, despite their formal attire, move about rather inelegantly on land. Indeed, the waddling of penguins is both slower and more energetically expensive than the terrestrial locomotion observed in other bipedal birds [2]. Humans, though perhaps more adept at running than are penguins at walking, nevertheless have a morphology that also represents a compromise between different forms of locomotion [3] with different mechanical and energetic properties [4]. For example, efficient walking requires more compliant tendons than efficient running [5]. Cyclists shift gears to maintain a comfortable pedaling frequency (and, in turn, favorable muscle fiber velocities) as ground speed varies [6]. Because our muscles and tendons cannot instantaneously “shift gears” when we transition between gaits or change speed, their properties must represent a balance among competing demands in different movement scenarios. This compromise provides a possible explanation for why running economy is insensitive to speed [7], acceleration/deceleration cycles [8], and footstrike pattern [9].

    There are many natural means by which the properties of our muscles and tendons can change. For example, muscle fibers decrease in strength and contraction speed as we age [10], and tendon compliance can be affected by strength training [11]. Although proper training can improve running efficiency over time, simply donning an assistive device would offer several advantages. First, training requires prolonged effort with changes occurring relatively slowly. Secondly, the dynamic properties of muscles and tendons are fundamentally limited by the physical properties of their constituent tissues; the dynamic properties of assistive devices are not bound by these biological constraints. Finally, our bodies will always compromise between competing demands, such as maximizing performance while retaining some amount of versatility in our movement. Assistive devices can overcome these challenges, allowing us to instantaneously modify the dynamics of our musculoskeletal system, temporarily sacrificing versatility to maximize performance at a specific task.
    Last edited by Jo Bowyer; 07-10-2016, 06:28 PM.
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

    Comment


    • #17
      Democratizing Neurorehabilitation: How Accessible are Low-Cost Mobile-Gaming Technologies for Self-Rehabilitation of Arm Disability in Stroke?

      http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0163413

      Abstract

      Motor-training software on tablets or smartphones (Apps) offer a low-cost, widely-available solution to supplement arm physiotherapy after stroke. We assessed the proportions of hemiplegic stroke patients who, with their plegic hand, could meaningfully engage with mobile-gaming devices using a range of standard control-methods, as well as by using a novel wireless grip-controller, adapted for neurodisability. We screened all newly-diagnosed hemiplegic stroke patients presenting to a stroke centre over 6 months. Subjects were compared on their ability to control a tablet or smartphone cursor using: finger-swipe, tap, joystick, screen-tilt, and an adapted handgrip. Cursor control was graded as: no movement (0); less than full-range movement (1); full-range movement (2); directed movement (3). In total, we screened 345 patients, of which 87 satisfied recruitment criteria and completed testing. The commonest reason for exclusion was cognitive impairment. Using conventional controls, the proportion of patients able to direct cursor movement was 38–48%; and to move it full-range was 55–67% (controller comparison: p>0.1). By comparison, handgrip enabled directed control in 75%, and full-range movement in 93% (controller comparison: p<0.001). This difference between controllers was most apparent amongst severely-disabled subjects, with 0% achieving directed or full-range control with conventional controls, compared to 58% and 83% achieving these two levels of movement, respectively, with handgrip. In conclusion, hand, or arm, training Apps played on conventional mobile devices are likely to be accessible only to mildly-disabled stroke patients. Technological adaptations such as grip-control can enable more severely affected subjects to engage with self-training software.
      Jo Bowyer
      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

      Comment


      • #18
        In a first, brain computer interface helps paralyzed man feel again

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1013151356.htm

        In a study published online today in Science Translational Medicine, a team of experts led by Robert Gaunt, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Pitt, demonstrated for the first time ever in humans a technology that allows Mr. Copeland to experience the sensation of touch through a robotic arm that he controls with his brain.
        Jo Bowyer
        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

        Comment


        • #19
          CYBATHLON Championship for Athletes with Disabilities

          http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/

          The Cybathlon is a championship for racing pilots with disabilities using advanced assistive devices including robotic technologies.



          Jo Bowyer
          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

          Comment


          • #20
            Automatic Speech Recognition from Neural Signals: A Focused Review

            http://journal.frontiersin.org/artic...016.00429/full

            Speech interfaces have become widely accepted and are nowadays integrated in various real-life applications and devices. They have become a part of our daily life. However, speech interfaces presume the ability to produce intelligible speech, which might be impossible due to either loud environments, bothering bystanders or incapabilities to produce speech (i.e., patients suffering from locked-in syndrome). For these reasons it would be highly desirable to not speak but to simply envision oneself to say words or sentences. Interfaces based on imagined speech would enable fast and natural communication without the need for audible speech and would give a voice to otherwise mute people.
            Jo Bowyer
            Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
            "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

            Comment


            • #21
              I was a bit worried about "Big Brother"

              A fear often associated with BCI in general and the speech decoding in Brain-to-text in particular is that private thoughts could be read and thereby freedom of thought not be guaranteed any longer. In Brain-to-text activations associated with the production of speech are decoded, from planning to articulate speech prior to voice onset, to control of facial muscles, to processing of heared sounds. Thought processes or internal voice, while being formulated in words as well, do not make use of areas associated with the movement of articulatory muscles. So even if neural prothesis based on imagined speech processes become a reality, there is still a large distinction between thought processes and the process of imagining oneself to speak.
              Marcel

              "Evolution is a tinkerer not an engineer" F.Jacob
              "Without imperfection neither you nor I would exist" Stephen Hawking

              Comment


              • #22
                Researchers Restore Leg Movement in Primates Using Wireless Neural Interface

                http://neurosciencenews.com/leg-move...nterface-5465/

                An international team of scientists has used a wireless “brain-spinal interface” to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg. The researchers, who describe their work in the journal Nature, say this is the first time a neural prosthetic has been used to restore walking movement directly to the legs of nonhuman primates.
                The ability to transmit brain signals wirelessly was critical to this work, Borton said. Wired brain-sensing systems limit freedom of movement, which in turn limits the information researchers are able to gather about locomotion.

                “Doing this wirelessly enables us to map the neural activity in normal contexts and during natural behavior,” Borton said. “If we truly aim for neuroprosthetics that can someday be deployed to help human patients during activities of daily life, such untethered recording technologies will be critical.”

                The researchers combined their understanding of how brain signals influence locomotion with spinal maps, developed by Courtine’s lab at EPFL, which identified the neural hotspots in the spine responsible for locomotor control. That enabled the team to identify the neural circuits that should be stimulated by the spinal implant.
                Jo Bowyer
                Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                Comment


                • #23
                  Controlling Robotic Arms With The Brain

                  http://neurosciencenews.com/neurobotics-brain-arm-5766/

                  “This is the first time in the world that people can operate a robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in a complex 3D environment using only their thoughts without a brain implant,” said Bin He, a University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor and lead researcher on the study. “Just by imagining moving their arms, they were able to move the robotic arm.”
                  my bold



                  I still think the plug is cool.
                  Jo Bowyer
                  Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                  "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The Pursuit of Chronically Reliable Neural Interfaces: A Materials Perspective

                    http://journal.frontiersin.org/artic...016.00599/full

                    Brain–computer interfaces represent one of the most astonishing technologies in our era. However, the grand challenge of chronic instability and limited throughput of the electrode–tissue interface has significantly hindered the further development and ultimate deployment of such exciting technologies. A multidisciplinary research workforce has been called upon to respond to this engineering need. In this paper, I briefly review this multidisciplinary pursuit of chronically reliable neural interfaces from a materials perspective by analyzing the problem, abstracting the engineering principles, and summarizing the corresponding engineering strategies. I further draw my future perspectives by extending the proposed engineering principles.
                    Jo Bowyer
                    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Brain–Computer Interface–Based Communication in the Completely Locked-In State

                      http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology...l.pbio.1002593

                      Abstract

                      Despite partial success, communication has remained impossible for persons suffering from complete motor paralysis but intact cognitive and emotional processing, a state called complete locked-in state (CLIS). Based on a motor learning theoretical context and on the failure of neuroelectric brain–computer interface (BCI) communication attempts in CLIS, we here report BCI communication using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and an implicit attentional processing procedure. Four patients suffering from advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—two of them in permanent CLIS and two entering the CLIS without reliable means of communication—learned to answer personal questions with known answers and open questions all requiring a “yes” or “no” thought using frontocentral oxygenation changes measured with fNIRS. Three patients completed more than 46 sessions spread over several weeks, and one patient (patient W) completed 20 sessions. Online fNIRS classification of personal questions with known answers and open questions using linear support vector machine (SVM) resulted in an above-chance-level correct response rate over 70%. Electroencephalographic oscillations and electrooculographic signals did not exceed the chance-level threshold for correct communication despite occasional differences between the physiological signals representing a “yes” or “no” response. However, electroencephalogram (EEG) changes in the theta-frequency band correlated with inferior communication performance, probably because of decreased vigilance and attention. If replicated with ALS patients in CLIS, these positive results could indicate the first step towards abolition of complete locked-in states, at least for ALS.




                      Commentary: Embodied Medicine: Mens Sana in Corpore Virtuale Sano

                      http://journal.frontiersin.org/artic...017.00381/full


                      Update 26/07/2017
                      Last edited by Jo Bowyer; 26-07-2017, 09:04 PM.
                      Jo Bowyer
                      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Biomimetic temperature-sensing layer for artificial skins

                        http://robotics.sciencemag.org/conte.../eaai9251.full

                        Abstract

                        Artificial membranes that are sensitive to temperature are needed in robotics to augment interactions with humans and the environment and in bioengineering to improve prosthetic limbs. Existing flexible sensors achieved sensitivities of <100 millikelvin and large responsivity, albeit within narrow (<5 kelvin) temperature ranges. Other flexible devices, working in wider temperature ranges, exhibit orders of magnitude poorer responses. However, much more versatile and temperature-sensitive membranes are present in animals such as pit vipers, whose pit membranes have the highest sensitivity and responsivity in nature and are used to locate warm-blooded prey at distance. We show that pectin films mimic the sensing mechanism of pit membranes and parallel their record performances. These films map temperature on surfaces with a sensitivity of at least 10 millikelvin in a wide temperature range (45 kelvin), have very high responsivity, and detect warm bodies at distance. The produced material can be integrated as a layer in artificial skin platforms and boost their temperature sensitivity to reach the best biological performance.
                        INTRODUCTION

                        Artificial skins (1, 2) are essential to augment robotics (3) and improve prosthetic limbs (4). Existing platforms are designed to emulate properties of the human skin by incorporating sensitive functions (4–8) that respond to different external stimuli, for example, to variations of temperature (4, 8–10). Available artificial skins that sense temperature variations use either passive flexible resistors (8–11) or active electronic devices (4, 12). Their functionality is limited by the choice of temperature-sensitive materials incorporated in the electronics (2). For example, p-n junctions have small responsivity, require a complex architecture, and demand nontrivial fabrication procedures (4, 12). Flexible sensors made of monolayer-capped nanoparticles are, at the same time, as sensitive to temperature as they are to pressure and humidity, making it impossible to deconvolve the three variables in practical applications (8). Composites based on a polymer matrix and electrically conductive fillers operate in a too narrow temperature range and have two orders of magnitude uncertainty on the current value corresponding to the same temperature (9, 13). Substantial advances on artificial skins require the use of new flexible materials with higher temperature sensitivity, responsivity, range of operation, and stability.
                        Jo Bowyer
                        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Brain Computer Interface Advance Allows Fast and Accurate Typing By People With Paralysis

                          http://neurosciencenews.com/typing-paralysis-bci-6140/

                          In a Stanford-led research report, three participants with movement impairment controlled an onscreen cursor simply by imagining their own hand movements.





                          Simulating tactile signals from the whole hand with millisecond precision

                          http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/06/20/1704856114

                          Significance

                          When we grasp an object, thousands of tactile nerve fibers become activated and inform us about its physical properties (e.g., shape, size, and texture). Although the properties of individual fibers have been described, our understanding of how object information is encoded in populations of fibers remains primitive. To fill this gap, we have developed a simulation of tactile fibers that incorporates much of what is known about skin mechanics and tactile nerve fibers. We show that simulated fibers match biological ones across a wide range of conditions sampled from the literature. We then show how this simulation can reveal previously unknown ways in which populations of nerve fibers cooperate to convey sensory information and discuss the implications for bionic hands.
                          Abstract
                          When we grasp and manipulate an object, populations of tactile nerve fibers become activated and convey information about the shape, size, and texture of the object and its motion across the skin. The response properties of tactile fibers have been extensively characterized in single-unit recordings, yielding important insights into how individual fibers encode tactile information. A recurring finding in this extensive body of work is that stimulus information is distributed over many fibers. However, our understanding of population-level representations remains primitive. To fill this gap, we have developed a model to simulate the responses of all tactile fibers innervating the glabrous skin of the hand to any spatiotemporal stimulus applied to the skin. The model first reconstructs the stresses experienced by mechanoreceptors when the skin is deformed and then simulates the spiking response that would be produced in the nerve fiber innervating that receptor. By simulating skin deformations across the palmar surface of the hand and tiling it with receptors at their known densities, we reconstruct the responses of entire populations of nerve fibers. We show that the simulated responses closely match their measured counterparts, down to the precise timing of the evoked spikes, across a wide variety of experimental conditions sampled from the literature. We then conduct three virtual experiments to illustrate how the simulation can provide powerful insights into population coding in touch. Finally, we discuss how the model provides a means to establish naturalistic artificial touch in bionic hands.
                          mechanoreceptor tactile afferent somatosensory periphery skin mechanics computational model

                          Update 27/06/2017
                          Last edited by Jo Bowyer; 27-06-2017, 12:24 PM.
                          Jo Bowyer
                          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Brain-robot training triggers 'surprise' improvement in paralysis
                            11 August 2016

                            Eight paraplegics are able to feel their legs again after training with brain-controlled robotics.

                            The one-year training program was supposed to teach patients how to walk inside a robotic exoskeleton. The regime included controlling the legs of a virtual avatar via a skull cap, and learning to manipulate the exoskeleton in the same way.

                            But scientists believe the treatment is reawakening the brain’s control over surviving nerves in the spine, offering hope to others who have suffered spinal cord injuries and strokes.

                            Sensations and muscle control reported by four patients after a year of training were so strong that their doctors upgraded their diagnoses from complete to partial paralysis.

                            Most patients said they had better bladder control and bowel function which meant they could cut back on laxatives and catheters.

                            "What we're showing in this paper is that patients who used a brain-machine interface for a long period of time experienced improvements in motor behaviour, tactile sensations and visceral functions below the level of the spinal cord injury.

                            "Until now, nobody has seen recovery of these functions in a patient so many years after being diagnosed with complete paralysis."
                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...-in-paralysis/
                            Marcel

                            "Evolution is a tinkerer not an engineer" F.Jacob
                            "Without imperfection neither you nor I would exist" Stephen Hawking

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Researchers Directly Observe Concepts in Human Brain

                              http://neurosciencenews.com/concepts...oscience-6225/

                              “Most research into how the human brain processes semantic information uses noninvasive neuroimaging approaches like functional magnetic resonance imaging, which indirectly measures neural activity via changes in blood flow,” says Nathan Crone, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine and contributing author on the research. “Invasive alternatives like electrocorticography, or ECoG, can provide more direct observations of neural processing but can only be used in the rare clinical setting when implanting electrodes directly on the surface of the cortex is a clinical necessity, as in some cases of intractable epilepsy,” he explained.
                              Jo Bowyer
                              Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                              "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Target-directed motor imagery of the lower limb enhances event-related desynchronization

                                http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0184245 Abstract

                                Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/S) is an electroencephalogram (EEG) feature widely used as control signals for Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). Nevertheless, the underlying neural mechanisms and functions of ERD/S are largely unknown, thus investigating them is crucial to improve the reliability of ERD/S-based BCIs. This study aimed to identify Motor Imagery (MI) conditions that enhance ERD/S. We investigated following three questions: 1) whether target-directed MI affects ERD/S, 2) whether MI with sound imagery affects ERD/S, and 3) whether ERD/S has a body part dependency of MI. Nine participants took part in the experiments of four MI conditions; they were asked to imagine right foot dorsiflexion (F), right foot dorsiflexion and the sound of a bass drum when the sole touched the floor (FS), right leg extension (L), and right leg extension directed toward a soccer ball (LT). Statistical comparison revealed that there were significant differences between conditions L and LT in beta-band ERD and conditions F and L in beta-band ERS. These results suggest that mental rehearsal of target-directed lower limb movement without real sensory stimuli can enhance beta-band ERD; furthermore, MI of foot dorsiflexion induces significantly larger beta-band ERS than that of leg extension. These findings could be exploited for the training of BCIs such as powered prosthetics for disabled person and neurorehabilitation system for stroke patients.
                                Jo Bowyer
                                Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                                "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                                Comment

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