April 19, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
Five third-year students of B.Tech. (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) won laurels for their institution when they placed third in the nation-wide Texas Instruments India Analog Design Contest.
The team of Amrita students consisting of Akshayakrishna U., Dhananjayan P. S., Lohit L., Sabarinath S. and Shiva D. built a Wireless 3D Robotic Arm with Force Quantification using EMG, as their entry in this all-India contest.
In all, five teams from Amrita participated. Each submitted an abstract, basic block diagram of the circuitry, equipment required and estimated cost of the proposed project. Every project was required to make use of two analog ICs manufactured by Texas Instruments along with micro-controllers.
All but one of the five Amrita teams qualified to participate in the next round of the contest, along with some 150 teams from other colleges in the nation.
In the next round, unique problems were posed to each of the teams, which they were required to solve with the help of kits provided. 15 teams were selected from this round to proceed to the final round; one of these was the Amrita team.
In the final round, these selected teams had the opportunity to complete their initially proposed projects. Each team presented their respective working models at the company premises in Bangalore on April 6, 2012. It was here that the Amrita robotic arm was named a winner.
“Our 3-d robotic arm operates in synchronization with the human arm, making use of the EMG (electromyography) signals and force quantification techniques,” explained the winning students.
“Such an arm would lead to further enhancement in the area of Human Machine Interaction, allowing for remote control of robots, performing robotic surgery and tele-education,” they added.
The team explained the technical features of their creation.
“EMG is a bio-electric signal which is produced by the muscles and neural system. The signal generation mechanism comprises of the summation of many muscle unit action potentials (MUAPS) which are located in the muscle fibers. These impulse-like signals from the muscles are captured by a surface sensor through the skin interface. The motion of the hand during the formation of a character is associated with the firing of thousands of MUAPs which occur at different times and with different amplitudes.”
“The surface sensor can only see the summation of these individual signals. The EMG signals along with the signals from the 3-axis accelerometers (which are used to recognize the motion, e.g. wrist motion) are processed and transmitted wirelessly through trans-receivers and are received at the robotic arm. The robotic arm decodes the received signal and imitates the motion of the human arm by controlling the different motors.”
These Amrita students were guided by Mr. Sivraj P., Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the Coimbatore campus.