Usability Comparison of Conventional Direct Control Versus Pattern Recognition Control of Transradial Prostheses Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 IEEE. The goal of this study was to compare the usability of two control schemes for a transradial myoelectric prosthesis, including conventional direct control (DC) and pattern recognition (PR) control, when used by able-bodied individuals. Three types of response measures were captured to assess the control schemes, including learnability, performance, and cognitive workload. Prior research has applied performance and cognitive workload metrics for evaluation of prosthetics; however, workload measures applied in these studies (e.g., heart rate, electroencephalography, and respiration rate) have many limitations. This study used eye tracking to compare cognitive load implications of the different control schemes for a two degrees-of-freedom myoelectric prosthesis. In total, 12 participants were assigned to either control condition (six persons each) or perform a clothespin relocation task. Results revealed the PR scheme to be more intuitive for users and superior to DC across all response measures. We observed a lower learning percentage (i.e., greater learning potential), lower cognitive load, and greater productivity in task performance. This preliminary study illustrates efficacy of using eye-tracking-based measures of cognitive load and standardize test paradigms for assessment of upper limb prosthetic usability and supports PR prosthetic device control as an intuitive alternative to DC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • White, M. M., Zhang, W., Winslow, A. T., Zahabi, M., Zhang, F., Huang, H. e., & Kaber, D. B.

complete list of authors

  • White, Melissa Mae||Zhang, Wenjuan||Winslow, Anna T||Zahabi, Maryam||Zhang, Fan||Huang, He||Kaber, David B

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM