Measurement of Driver Steering Torque Using Electromyography

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew J. Pick

Driver-Vehicle Dynamics Group, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, UK

David J. Cole

Driver-Vehicle Dynamics Group, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, UKdjc13@eng.cam.ac.uk

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 128(4), 960-968 (Apr 24, 2006) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2363198 History: Received January 14, 2005; Revised April 24, 2006

This paper is concerned with developing a method to measure a driver’s muscle activation strategy during driving, to enable validation of a mathematical model. Electromyography (EMG) was successfully used to measure driver muscle activity. Regression analysis of the EMG data, measured from the right arm of one test subject, was used to determine the key muscles involved in generating steering torque. The significant muscles were found to be the mid and front deltoid, the sternal portion of the pectoralis major, and the triceps long head. Using the identified regression parameters and measured EMG from key muscles, forces generated by the driver at the rim of the steering wheel were predicted under isometric conditions. The method was further developed and measurements were taken from the left and right arms of eight test subjects. Using regression analysis a model that predicts steering torque from the EMG signals was generated. The method also allows co-contraction of opposing muscles to be identified during a dynamic steering maneuver. Muscle co-contraction is thought to be a significant control strategy employed by drivers, and is the subject of further work.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Planar view of the right arm showing joint torques and steering forces

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Figure 2

Muscles measured in the right arm using EMG

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Figure 3

SREMG showing muscle activity when tangential steering forces are applied, test 1

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Figure 4

SREMG showing muscle activity when tangential steering forces are applied with spring rotating steering wheel giving resistance of 5.7Nm∕rad, test 2

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Figure 5

Plot showing typical distribution of forces applied by test subject during a 50s test

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Figure 6

Multiple correlation coefficients, R2, for regression analysis between tangential steering force and SREMG for various muscles. Coefficients for all 255 possible combinations of regression model are shown.

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Figure 7

Tangential steering force prediction using measured EMG from mid deltoid and sternal portion of pectoral and regression parameters in Table 4

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Figure 8

Multiple correlation coefficients calculated for steering torque prediction using regression coefficients and SREMG data

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Figure 9

Comparison between measured steering torque and steering torque prediction based on identified regression coefficients and measured SREMG data for test subject H. Measured under isometric conditions.

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Figure 10

(a) Steering torque and EMG based steering torque prediction. (b) Steering torque prediction showing components producing positive torque and negative torque. When summed, the components give EMG based steering torque prediction. Results shown for test subject H.

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Figure 11

Index of muscle co-contraction for EMG activity measured during a simulated double lane change maneuver. Measured for test subject H.




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