skip to main content

Title: A clustering-based method for estimating pennation angle from B-mode ultrasound images
Abstract B-mode ultrasound (US) is often used to noninvasively measure skeletal muscle architecture, which contains human intent information. Extracted features from B-mode images can help improve closed-loop human–robotic interaction control when using rehabilitation/assistive devices. The traditional manual approach to inferring the muscle structural features from US images is laborious, time-consuming, and subjective among different investigators. This paper proposes a clustering-based detection method that can mimic a well-trained human expert in identifying fascicle and aponeurosis and, therefore, compute the pennation angle. The clustering-based architecture assumes that muscle fibers have tubular characteristics. It is robust for low-frequency image streams. We compared the proposed algorithm to two mature benchmark techniques: UltraTrack and ImageJ. The performance of the proposed approach showed higher accuracy in our dataset (frame frequency is 20 Hz), that is, similar to the human expert. The proposed method shows promising potential in automatic muscle fascicle orientation detection to facilitate implementations in biomechanics modeling, rehabilitation robot control design, and neuromuscular disease diagnosis with low-frequency data stream.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Wearable Technologies
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. We are developing a system for long term Semi-Automated Rehabilitation At the Home (SARAH) that relies on low-cost and unobtrusive video-based sensing. We present a cyber-human methodology used by the SARAH system for automated assessment of upper extremity stroke rehabilitation at the home. We propose a hierarchical model for automatically segmenting stroke survivor's movements and generating training task performance assessment scores during rehabilitation. The hierarchical model fuses expert therapist knowledge-based approaches with data-driven techniques. The expert knowledge is more observable in the higher layers of the hierarchy (task and segment) and therefore more accessible to algorithms incorporating high level constraints relating to activity structure (i.e., type and order of segments per task). We utilize an HMM and a Decision Tree model to connect these high level priors to data driven analysis. The lower layers (RGB images and raw kinematics) need to be addressed primarily through data driven techniques. We use a transformer based architecture operating on low-level action features (tracking of individual body joints and objects) and a Multi-Stage Temporal Convolutional Network(MS-TCN) operating on raw RGB images. We develop a sequence combining these complimentary algorithms effectively, thus encoding the information from different layers of the movement hierarchy. Through this combination, we produce a robust segmentation and task assessment results on noisy, variable and limited data, which is characteristic of low cost video capture of rehabilitation at the home. Our proposed approach achieves 85% accuracy in per-frame labeling, 99% accuracy in segment classification and 93% accuracy in task completion assessment. Although the methodology proposed in this paper applies to upper extremity rehabilitation using the SARAH system, it can potentially be used, with minor alterations, to assist automation in many other movement rehabilitation contexts (i.e., lower extremity training for neurological accidents). 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Background

    Improving the prediction ability of a human-machine interface (HMI) is critical to accomplish a bio-inspired or model-based control strategy for rehabilitation interventions, which are of increased interest to assist limb function post neurological injuries. A fundamental role of the HMI is to accurately predict human intent by mapping signals from a mechanical sensor or surface electromyography (sEMG) sensor. These sensors are limited to measuring the resulting limb force or movement or the neural signal evoking the force. As the intermediate mapping in the HMI also depends on muscle contractility, a motivation exists to include architectural features of the muscle as surrogates of dynamic muscle movement, thus further improving the HMI’s prediction accuracy.


    The purpose of this study is to investigate a non-invasive sEMG and ultrasound (US) imaging-driven Hill-type neuromuscular model (HNM) for net ankle joint plantarflexion moment prediction. We hypothesize that the fusion of signals from sEMG and US imaging results in a more accurate net plantarflexion moment prediction than sole sEMG or US imaging.


    Ten young non-disabled participants walked on a treadmill at speeds of 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, and 1.50 m/s. The proposed HNM consists of two muscle-tendon units. The muscle activation for each unit was calculated as a weighted summation of the normalized sEMG signal and normalized muscle thickness signal from US imaging. The HNM calibration was performed under both single-speed mode and inter-speed mode, and then the calibrated HNM was validated across all walking speeds.


    On average, the normalized moment prediction root mean square error was reduced by 14.58 % ($$p=0.012$$p=0.012) and 36.79 % ($$p<0.001$$p<0.001) with the proposed HNM when compared to sEMG-driven and US imaging-driven HNMs, respectively. Also, the calibrated models with data from the inter-speed mode were more robust than those from single-speed modes for the moment prediction.


    The proposed sEMG-US imaging-driven HNM can significantly improve the net plantarflexion moment prediction accuracy across multiple walking speeds. The findings imply that the proposed HNM can be potentially used in bio-inspired control strategies for rehabilitative devices due to its superior prediction.

    more » « less
  3. Objective: We designed and validated a wireless, low-cost, easy-to-use, mobile, dry-electrode headset for scalp electroencephalography (EEG) recordings for closed-loop brain–computer (BCI) interface and internet-of-things (IoT) applications. Approach: The EEG-based BCI headset was designed from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components using a multi-pronged approach that balanced interoperability, cost, portability, usability, form factor, reliability, and closed-loop operation. Main Results: The adjustable headset was designed to accommodate 90% of the population. A patent-pending self-positioning dry electrode bracket allowed for vertical self-positioning while parting the user’s hair to ensure contact of the electrode with the scalp. In the current prototype, five EEG electrodes were incorporated in the electrode bracket spanning the sensorimotor cortices bilaterally, and three skin sensors were included to measure eye movement and blinks. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) provides monitoring of head movements. The EEG amplifier operates with 24-bit resolution up to 500 Hz sampling frequency and can communicate with other devices using 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. It has high signal–to–noise ratio (SNR) and common–mode rejection ratio (CMRR) (121 dB and 110 dB, respectively) and low input noise. In closed-loop BCI mode, the system can operate at 40 Hz, including real-time adaptive noise cancellation and 512 MB of processor memory. It supports LabVIEW as a backend coding language and JavaScript (JS), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and HyperText Markup Language (HTML) as front-end coding languages and includes training and optimization of support vector machine (SVM) neural classifiers. Extensive bench testing supports the technical specifications and human-subject pilot testing of a closed-loop BCI application to support upper-limb rehabilitation and provides proof-of-concept validation for the device’s use at both the clinic and at home. Significance: The usability, interoperability, portability, reliability, and programmability of the proposed wireless closed-loop BCI system provides a low-cost solution for BCI and neurorehabilitation research and IoT applications. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Accurate cloud type identification and coverage analysis are crucial in understanding the Earth’s radiative budget. Traditional computer vision methods rely on low-level visual features of clouds for estimating cloud coverage or sky conditions. Several handcrafted approaches have been proposed; however, scope for improvement still exists. Newer deep neural networks (DNNs) have demonstrated superior performance for cloud segmentation and categorization. These methods, however, need expert engineering intervention in the preprocessing steps—in the traditional methods—or human assistance in assigning cloud or clear sky labels to a pixel for training DNNs. Such human mediation imposes considerable time and labor costs. We present the application of a new self-supervised learning approach to autonomously extract relevant features from sky images captured by ground-based cameras, for the classification and segmentation of clouds. We evaluate a joint embedding architecture that uses self-knowledge distillation plus regularization. We use two datasets to demonstrate the network’s ability to classify and segment sky images—one with ∼ 85,000 images collected from our ground-based camera and another with 400 labeled images from the WSISEG database. We find that this approach can discriminate full-sky images based on cloud coverage, diurnal variation, and cloud base height. Furthermore, it semantically segments the cloud areas without labels. The approach shows competitive performance in all tested tasks,suggesting a new alternative for cloud characterization.

    more » « less
  5. Puyol Anton, E ; Pop, M ; Sermesant, M ; Campello, V ; Lalande, A ; Lekadir, K ; Suinesiaputra, A ; Camara, O ; Young, A (Ed.)
    Cardiac cine magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) is the reference standard for assessing cardiac structure as well as function. However, CMRI data presents large variations among different centers, vendors, and patients with various cardiovascular diseases. Since typical deep-learning-based segmentation methods are usually trained using a limited number of ground truth annotations, they may not generalize well to unseen MR images, due to the variations between the training and testing data. In this study, we proposed an approach towards building a generalizable deep-learning-based model for cardiac structure segmentations from multi-vendor,multi-center and multi-diseases CMRI data. We used a novel combination of image augmentation and a consistency loss function to improve model robustness to typical variations in CMRI data. The proposed image augmentation strategy leverages un-labeled data by a) using CycleGAN to generate images in different styles and b) exchanging the low-frequency features of images from different vendors. Our model architecture was based on an attention-gated U-Net model that learns to focus on cardiac structures of varying shapes and sizes while suppressing irrelevant regions. The proposed augmentation and consistency training method demonstrated improved performance on CMRI images from new vendors and centers. When evaluated using CMRI data from 4 vendors and 6 clinical center, our method was generally able to produce accurate segmentations of cardiac structures. 
    more » « less