Project Title:
Voice Recognition for Improved Prosthesis Control

Summary:
Only about half of upper-limb (UL) amputees wear a prosthesis, and this is often because it does not return enough function for the burdens of weight, discomfort, non-cosmetic appearance, lack of durability, etc. One main reason for this rejection is the difficulty or inability to control the device effectively. Challenges with control occur because multiple prosthetic joints are being controlled with a limited number of input options.

Human speech, being one of the most natural and highest bandwidth forms of human communication seems like a logical fit to address the issue. LTI and its partners propose to develop the Voice Activated Prosthesis Interface (VAPI) which will add the ability for the patient to use their voice to generate control signals for their prosthesis. The VAPI will allow patients to control movements that were previously inaccessible due to the lack of control inputs, including fluidly performing tasks that require coordinated sequential movements. This improved control will likely lead to improved functional outcomes, improved ability to complete activities of daily living (ADLs) and increased prosthetic use. By increasing prosthesis use, we aim to reduce overuse injuries that are often encountered by amputees over-relying on their intact hand.

Funding:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This work is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43HD095750. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Expected Completion Date:
June 2020