Completed Project



TELMYOS: Telemetric and myoelectric ear muscle sensing system



Prof. Dr.-med. David Liebetanz
Universitätsmedizin Göttingen

Dr.-Ing. Markus Reischl
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Rupp
Universität Heidelberg


BMBF, 2011-2015


The TELMYOS project (telemetric and myoelectric ear muscle sensing system) deals with fundamental questions around the novel human-machine interface based on the ear muscle activity signals. The muscle activities of the bilateral, extrinsic ear muscles (M. auricularis) serve as input to control a variety of executing devices, e.g., electric-powered wheelchairs or robotic arms. The facial nerve, innervating the ear muscles, is usually intact in severely disabled individuals such as persons living with tetraplegia. Hence, TELMYOS is an option for these individuals without reducing the residual bodily functions. Simple activities of daily routine, e.g., eating, talking or looking around can be performed while operating TELMYOS. Persons with upper extremities amputated also benefit from it. Moreover, non-medical fields of application such as “third-hand controls” are conceivable. The TELMYOS project poses an option for current endeavors in the scientific community to make use of brain activity signals for controlling executing devices, as that technology do not provide adequate accuracy.

Methods are developed addressing the efficient acquisition of muscle activity signals, the generation of comprehensive user feedback, the assessment of the learning process, the parameter adaptation on the interface side and the user individualization. The developed methods are implemented in a real-time, graphical user interface. The muscle activity signals get transmitted wirelessly to warrant maximum flexibility. An electric-powered wheelchair serves as a demonstrator and to evaluate the implemented methods. Studies with both able-bodied and physically handicapped individuals indicate promising results with respect to the learnability of this cutting-edge human-machine interface.


Selected publications

Schmalfuß, L.; Rupp, R.; Tuga, M.; Kogut, A.; Hewitt, M.; Meincke, J.; Klinker, F.; Duttenhoefer, W.; Eck, U.; Mikut, R.; Reischl, M. & Liebetanz, D. Steer by Ear: Myoelectric Auricular Control of Powered Wheelchairs for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, IOS Press, 2015, 34, 79-95

Doneit, W.; Tuga, M. R.; Mikut, R.; Liebetanz, D.; Rupp, Rü. & Reischl, M. Kalibrierungs- und Trainingsstrategien zur individuellen Signalgenerierung für die myoelektrische Steuerung technischer Hilfsmittel Technisches Messen, 2015, 82, 411-421