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MyoWare Muscle Sensor - Electromyography (EMG) & Robot Arm (failed attempt)!

DroneBot Workshop
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Electromyography (EMG) and robot arm experiments with the MyoWare muscle sensor!


Today I'll be playing with a rather unique sensor, the Myoware Muscle Sensor. This unit is part of a kit that is put together by SparkFun, and it allows you to experiment with basic electromyography, or EMG technology.

This isn't an attempt to construct a medical-grade instrument, or to perform any sort of medical diagnostics. Instead, I'll show you how you can do some fun experiments with the MyoWare sensor and its shields.

We'll also see how we can SAFELY hook up the MyoWare sensor to an Arduino using a USB isolator from Adafruit. This eliminates the possibility of any contact with ADC ground through the attached computer. I'll also show you other SAFE, battery-powered ways to use the MyoWare sensor with a microcontroller, without the isolator.

And I'll make a (FAILED) attempt to control a MeArm robotic arm using two MyoWare sensors. While I do manage to get some control over the claw, I had a difficult time controlling the arm. But the code allows for a lot of fine-tuning, so I may one day actually succeed!

Here is the Table of Contents for today's video:

00:00 - Introduction
01:32 - Sensor & EMG Basics
05:04 - Sparkfun MyoWare Kit
07:39 - Shields & Headers
09:57 - LED Shield
12:54 - Cable Shield
17:17 - MyoWare Safety
20:08 - Adafruit USB Isolator
21:19 - Arduino & MyoWare
28:16 - Robot Arm (Failed) Attempt!
40:58 - Conclusion
42:43 - Ouch!

Aside from (poorly) controlling a robot arm, these sensors have applications in gesture sensing and devices to assist with mobility. Hopefully, the video and its associated article will give you a few ideas for using the MyoWare Muscle Sensor.


"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak