An Evolvable Hardware Chip and Its Application as a Multi-Function Prosthetic Hand Controller

Isamu Kajitani and Tsutomu Hoshino, University of Tsukuba; Nobuki Kajihara, Adaptive Devices NEC Laboratory, RWCP; Masaya Iwata and Tetsuya Higuchi, Electrotechnical Laboratory

This paper describes the application of genetic algorithms to the biomedical engineering problem of a multi-function myoelectric prosthetic hand controller. This is achieved by an innovative LSI chip (EHW chip), i.e., a VLSI implementation of Evolvable Hardware (EHW), which can adapt its own circuit structure to its environment autonomously and quickly by using genetic algorithms. This paper shows that the EHW chip controller is a viable alternative to neural network controllers. There are plans to commercialize the prosthetic hand with the EHW chip, and the medical department of Hokkaido University has already decided to adopt this for clinical treatment.

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