Body-Coupled Communication for Wireless Myoelectric Control of Prosthetic Arms

01 October 2020 → 30 September 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Antennas and propagation
    • Microwave and millimeter wave technology
    • Wireless communications
    • Sensors, biosensors and smart sensors not elsewhere classified
    • Numerical computation
Wireless Body Area Networks Body-Coupled communication Electromagnetism
Project description

There are approximately 4.5 million amputees in the USA and the EU combined and this number is expected to increase. Consequently, there have been innovations in neuro-prosthetic limbs that led to the development of smart prosthetics, including bionic arms. These devices require connections to several on-body sensors and actuators in order to function properly. This communication is preferably wireless in order to improve patient’s comfort. However, this communication is challenging because these nodes will have limited energy reservoirs, the connections will vary dynamically, and can be obstructed. This can negatively affect the functionality of the prosthesis. Therefore, an efficient design of this network of nodes on the body, a so-called Body Area Network (BAN), is required. In this project, we will investigate body-coupled communication (BCC) as a physical mechanism to realize the wireless body channel. To this aim, we will propose a theory for the BCC channel, validate this using numerical simulations, characterize the on-body channel, and design efficient electrodes that can be used for BCC, in order to optimize the communication between wearable sensors and the smart prosthesis. Eventually, this project will enable the usage of smart prostheses and will contribute towards a better quality of life for a large and growing number of patients.