Myoelectric Prosthetic Arm

Four students in the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering (BIE) designed and implemented an upper limb myoelectric prosthetic arm under the supervision of Dr. Sherif Elbasiouny. The prosthetic arm featured three joints: elbow, wrist and hand with six different movements. The motors that move the joints operated using the EMG signal recorded from three upper limb muscles of a human subject. A microcontroller was programmed to simultaneously record realtime EMG signals from three muscles, condition the signals and detect the operator’s command from the EMG signals’ profiles. The project involved the design and implementation of the prosthetic arm mechanics and its three joint motors, design and implementation of the electronic circuit, signal processing of the EMG signals and programming of the microcontroller.


Upon completion of the project, the students presented successfully a reliable (i.e., arm operation was consistent and dependable), universal (i.e., arm could be used by different subjects) and portable (i.e., standalone arm circuitry and microcontroller separate from the PC) prosthetic arm in which multidisciplinary engineering principles (mechanics, electronics and microprocessor programming) were successfully applied and integrated.


The project represented the newly-established neuroengineering research area on campus in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Neuroscience Engineering Collaborate (NEC) building on April 25, 2013, represented the BIE department in the College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board meeting on April 25, 2013, and represented Wright State University in the Science Olymbiad opening ceremony on May 16, 2013.



Thomas N. Hangartner, Ph.D., former chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering at Wright State University, tries the myoelectric prosthetic arm developed by four students as a senior design project under the supervision of Dr. Elbasiouny.

(L-R): Sherif Elbasiouny, Jenni Schimmels, Sherrie Foster, Valerie Hager, and Kristina Haker.