Building a wearable suit that can control things with your muscles

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Maker creates a wearable sensor suit that reads SEMG and uses those muscle signals to control things. 

When you flex a muscle, it gives off a surface electromyography signal, which is commonly referred to as SEMG. After years of working with circuity designed to read muscle signals, Maker David Nghiem decided to create an SEMG pod that was capable of measuring the level of muscle activation and using those signals to control things.


To accomplish this feat, Nghiem used a combination of an Arduino (ATmega328P) to drive the digital circuitry, a bunch of op amps to read the SEMG signals, a half-wave rectifier to handle the negative aspects of the signals, and LEDs to display the signal levels. In particular, the Maker notes that the primary function of the Arduino is to control the digital potentiometer, as well as to map and output the resulting signals to the LED driver.


The concept initially originated as part of a senior project way back in the late ‘90s, and eventually went on to became the idea…

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