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Creators/Authors contains: "Hansen, Taylor C."

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  1. Following tetraplegia, independence for completing essential daily tasks, such as opening doors and eating, significantly declines. Assistive robotic manipulators (ARMs) could restore independence, but typically input devices for these manipulators require functional use of the hands. We created and validated a hands-free multimodal input system for controlling an ARM in virtual reality using combinations of a gyroscope, eye-tracking, and heterologous surface electromyography (sEMG). These input modalities are mapped to ARM functions based on the user’s preferences and to maximize the utility of their residual volitional capabilities following tetraplegia. The two participants in this study with tetraplegia preferred to use the control mapping with sEMG button functions and disliked winking commands. Non-disabled participants were more varied in their preferences and performance, further suggesting that customizability is an advantageous component of the control system. Replacing buttons from a traditional handheld controller with sEMG did not substantively reduce performance. The system provided adequate control to all participants to complete functional tasks in virtual reality such as opening door handles, turning stove dials, eating, and drinking, all of which enable independence and improved quality of life for these individuals. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 3, 2025
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