Two-Dimensional Cursor-to-Target Control Based on Single Muscle Contractions

Claudia Perez-Maldonado2 , Anthony S. Wexler1,2 , and Sanjay S. Joshi1,2
University of California, Davis.
Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department1 , Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group2


For severely paralyzed individuals communicating with their assistive technologies is often incompatible with their social interactions. To help remedy this, we investigated the extraction of two control channels from the surface electrical signals (sEMG) of a single muscle, which may be used in a variety of human-machine interfaces. We simulated sEMG signaling to help understand the best ways to extract multiple separate simultaneous control channels. We then acquired the sEMG signals of a facial muscle in 4 able-bodied subjects and trained them to place computer cursors at different (X,Y) spots on a computer screen by simultaneously generating different powers in two frequency bands. This method could be adapted to allow simultaneous control of multiple degrees of freedom of a single device, such as an environmental control device or a powered wheel chair.


Human computer interface, environmental control, powered wheel chair, sEMG


We thank Dr. S. Upadhyaya and Dr. N. Willits for their help with the experimental design. We also thank the participants in the study and CONACYT-UC-MEXUS for supporting C. Perez-Maldonado

Author Contact Information:

Claudia Perez-Maldonado, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave. Davis, CA 95616, Office Phone (530) 754-4963 EMAIL: