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Adapting to progressive paralysis: A tongue-brain hybrid robot interface for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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posted on 2023-02-05, 14:31 authored by Rasmus Leck KæselerRasmus Leck Kæseler, Dario Farina, Bo Bentsen, Izabella Obál, Lotte Vinge, Kim Dremstrup, Mads Jochumsen, Lotte N. S. Andreasen Struijk

Individuals suffering from progressive neuromuscular diseases gradually lose all muscle control and therefore are forced to repeatedly adapt to new control interface technologies to maintain some level of independence. Accordingly, the ideal interface technology should adapt to the progression of paralysis. We propose an adaptive tongue-brain hybrid interface framework for the three-dimensional control of a robotic arm. The interface was tested with able-bodied individuals and individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The experiments demonstrated the importance of flexible frameworks for cooperation between control modalities as this allows a critical optimization of the control performance relative to the disease stage. The hybrid framework allowed a 4-34% stepwise decrease in performance rather than a 200% decrease when moving directly from a tongue to a brain control interface. This hybrid framework is the first step towards a new concept of assistive robotic control with a higher focus on adapting to the functionality of disabled individuals.


Independent research fund Denmark (8022-00234B)


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Aalborg University, Department of health science and technology

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  • Denmark