Wired Muscle

Jun Nishida / University of Tsukuba,

Shunichi Kasahara / Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

Kenji Suzuki / University of Tsukuba

Instantaneously generating one’s own body movements in response to the movements of others, such as establishing defensive postures in sports and learning kick-out timing from therapists in gait rehabilitation, is an essential aspect of interpersonal exercises and contact sports. However, ignition of movement based on visual stimulus requires approximately 250 milliseconds (ms), which is too late for certain interpersonal physical interactions that require immediate reaction.

Wired Muscle connects muscle activities between two persons using electromyogram (EMG) measurement and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to generate responsive movements that are faster than those generated by the visual information-based process. The system detects the muscle activity of a person by the EMG and triggers the EMS to drive the muscle of the other person to induce corresponding counter movements. In a pilot study, reaction time to the motion of another person was shortened to approximately 60 ms. Some participants perceive that the kinesthetic reaction was performed by their own will even though the muscle movement was electrically driven by prior stimuli.

This system could enable direct connection of kinesthetic experiences among multiple persons and form the basis for a novel paradigm of motor learning.

Jun Nishida, Shunichi Kasahara, and Kenji Suzuki. 2017. Wired muscle: generating faster kinesthetic reaction by inter-personally connecting muscles. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2017 Emerging Technologies (SIGGRAPH ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 26, 2 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3084822.3084844

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