Technological advances in manufacturing smart high-performances electronic devices, increasingly available at lower costs, nowadays allow to improve users’ quality of life in many application fields. In this work, the human-machine interaction obtained by using a next generation device (Myo armband) is analyzed and discussed, with a particular focus to healthcare applications such as upper-limb prostheses. An overview on application fields of the Myo armband and on the latest research works related to its use in prosthetic applications is presented; subsequently, the technical features and functionalities of this device are examined. Myo armband is a wearable device provided with eight electro-myographic electrodes, a 9-axes Inertial Measurement Unit and a transmission module. It sends the data related to the detected signals, via Bluetooth Low Energy technology, to other electronic devices which process them and act accordingly, depending on how they are programmed (in order to drive actuators or perform other specific functions). Applied to the prosthetic field, Myo armband allows to overcome many issues related to the existing prostheses, representing a complete electronic platform that detects in real-time the main signals related to forearm activity (muscles activation and forearm movements in the three-dimensional space) and sends these data to the connected devices. Nowadays, several typologies of prostheses are available on the market; they can be mainly distinguished into low-cost prostheses, which are light and compact but allow for a limited number of movements, and high-end prostheses, which are much more complex and featured by high dexterity, but also heavy, bulky, difficult to control and very expensive. Finally, the Myo armband is an optimum candidate for prosthetic application (and many others) and offers an excellent low-cost solution for obtaining a reliable, easy to use system.
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