Biomedical Engineering Letters

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 467–479 | Cite as

A compact-sized surface EMG sensor for myoelectric hand prosthesis

  • Alok PrakashEmail author
  • Shiru Sharma
  • Neeraj Sharma
Original Article


Myoelectric prosthesis requires a sensor that can reliably capture surface electromyography (sEMG) signal from amputees for its controlled operation. The main problems with the presently available EMG devices are their extremely high cost, large response time, noise susceptibility, less amplitude sensitivity, and larger size. This paper proposes a compact and affordable EMG sensor for the prosthetic application. The sensor consists of an electrode interface, signal conditioning unit, and power supply unit all encased in a single package. The performance of dry electrodes employed in the skin interface was compared with the conventional Ag/AgCl electrodes, and the results were found satisfactory. The envelope detection technique in the sensor based on the tuned RC parameters enables the generation of smooth, faster, and repeatable EMG envelope irrespective of signal strength and subject variability. The output performance of the developed sensor was compared with commercial EMG sensor regarding signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity, and response time. To perform this, EMG data with both devices were recorded for 10 subjects (3 amputees and 7 healthy subjects). The results showed 1.4 times greater SNR values and 45% higher sensitivity of the developed sensor than the commercial EMG sensor. Also, the proposed sensor was 57% faster than the commercial sensor in producing the output response. The sEMG sensor was further tested on amputees to control the operation of a self-designed 3D printed prosthetic hand. With proportional control scheme, the myoelectric hand setup was able to provide quicker and delicate grasping of objects as per the strength of the EMG signal.


Surface electromyography Myoelectric prosthesis Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) Control scheme Grasp types 



The authors would like to thank the Design Innovation Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) for funding this project.


This research work was funded by Design Innovation Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval (involvement of animals)

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Ethical approval (involvement of human subjects)

This article involves surface EMG data acquisition from various human subjects. Ethical approval was taken from the Ethical committee, Institute of medical sciences, BHU, Varanasi before performing this experiment. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Medical and Biological Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biomedical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology (BHU)VaranasiIndia

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