This paper presents the ARM Trainer, a new augmented reality-based system that can be used to train amputees in the use of myoelectric prostheses. The ARM Trainer provides users with a natural and intuitive method to develop the muscles used to control a myoelectric prosthetic. In addition to improving the training process, the new interface has the potential to mitigate psychological issues arising from amputation that are not addressed by existing approaches (e.g., self-image, phantom limb pain). We conducted an empirical study comparing our system to an existing commercial solution (Myoboy) and found the ARM Trainer to be superior along a number of subjective dimensions (enjoyment, perceived effort, competency, and pressure). We also found no significant difference in terms of muscle control development between the two systems. This study shows the potential of augmented reality-based training systems for myoelectric prostheses.
The authors wish to thank Dr. Kelvin Jones for the use of the EMG equipment and feedback on motor learning. This work was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the National Science and Engineering Research Council, and Alberta Innovates.
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