Comparative Assessment of Wearable Surface EMG Electrode Configurations for Biomechanical Applications



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Obtaining accurate biomechanical information within rigid, constrained compartments such as spacesuits can be challenging and labor-intensive, due to the obstacles of bulk and mass involved with sensor placements. Inspired by the current challenges in measuring astronaut biomechanics and in designing mobility-assistive robotics, this study investigates the feasibility of using soft, flexible wearable surface electromyography (EMG) sensors. In this study, anti-slip arm bands with textile-friendly metal-snap electrodes were used to collect EMG signals from biceps brachii and triceps brachii muscle activities, with conventional adhesive disposable solid-gel electrodes measuring the same muscle activities simultaneously. To compare the quality of signals obtained from the wearable EMG electrode configuration to the signals obtained from the conventional EMG electrodes, 40 trials that were collected with two subjects were analyzed by extracting 11 time-domain EMG features. These EMG features from two distinct signal sources were compared by using the non-segmentation method, the overlapping segmentation method, and the disjoint segmentation method. Results showed that comparisons were non-significant in most feature comparisons using non-segmentation method, and all comparisons were non-significant in both EMG signal segmentation methods, validating the feasibility of reliable and accurate signal collection with the dry metal-snap wearable electrodes and the promise in real-time application of the wearable EMG electrode configuration. Implications and limitations of the current study results are also discussed.


J. Walter Lee, Wearable Technology Lab (WTL), University of Minnesota (UMN), USA
Alireza Golgouneh, Wearable Technology Lab (WTL), University of Minnesota (UMN), USA
Lucy Dunne, Wearable Technology Lab (WTL), University of Minnesota (UMN), USA
ICES513: Computational Modeling for Human Health and Performance Analysis
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


Electromyography, Wearable technology, Biomechanics, EMG, Electrode