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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2000 May;47(5):664-73.

Optimal digital filtering for tremor suppression.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark 19716, USA.


Remote manually operated tasks such as those found in teleoperation, virtual reality, or joystick-based computer access, require the generation of an intermediate electrical signal which is transmitted to the controlled subsystem (robot arm, virtual environment, or a cursor in a computer screen). When human movements are distorted, for instance, by tremor, performance can be improved by digitally filtering the intermediate signal before it reaches the controlled device. This paper introduces a novel tremor filtering framework in which digital equalizers are optimally designed through pursuit tracking task experiments. Due to inherent properties of the man-machine system, the design of tremor suppression equalizers presents two serious problems: 1) performance criteria leading to optimizations that minimize mean-squared error are not efficient for tremor elimination and 2) movement signals show ill-conditioned autocorrelation matrices, which often result in useless or unstable solutions. To address these problems, a new performance indicator in the context of tremor is introduced, and the optimal equalizer according to this new criterion is developed. Ill-conditioning of the autocorrelation matrix is overcome using a novel method which we call pulled-optimization. Experiments performed with artificially induced vibrations and a subject with Parkinson's disease show significant improvement in performance. Additional results, along with MATLAB source code of the algorithms, and a customizable demo for PC joysticks, are available on the Internet at http:┬┐

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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