Evaluation of Control Interfaces for Active Trunk Support

Stergios Verros*, Nauzef Mahmood, Laura Peeters, Joan Lobo-Prat, Arjen Bergsma, Edsko Hekman, Gijsbertus J. Verkerke, Bart Koopman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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A feasibility study was performed to evaluate the control interfaces for a novel trunk support assistive device (Trunk Drive), namely, joystick, force on sternum, force on feet, and electromyography (EMG) to be used by adult men with Duchene muscular dystrophy. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the performance of the different control interfaces during a discrete position tracking task. We built a one degree of freedom flexion-extension active trunk support device that was tested on 10 healthy men. An experiment, based on the Fitts law, was conducted, whereby subjects were asked to steer a cursor representing the angle of the Trunk Drive into a target that was shown on a graphical user interface, using the above-mentioned control interfaces. The users could operate the Trunk Drive via each of the control interfaces. In general, the joystick and force on sternum were the fastest in movement time (more than 40%) without any significant difference between them, but there was a significant difference between force on sternum on the one hand, and EMG and force on feet on the other. All control interfaces proved to be feasible solutions for controlling an active trunk support, each of which had specific advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1965-1974
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2018


  • Active trunk support
  • control interfaces
  • biomechatronics
  • MEN
  • EMG

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