Thursday, June 24, 2021
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Move Your Muscle and Move Your Robot, Too!

Flex your arm, raise that sword! (Photo credit: Pololu)
Flex your arm, raise that sword! (Photo credit: Pololu)1

Ever wanted to make a robot that could move along with you? A muscle sensor from Advancer Technologies will make the interface easy!

The sensor tracks and amplifies the complex electric potential generated by muscle cells. It then converts it into a simple analog signal that can easily be read by any microcontroller with an analog-to-digital converter, such as an Arduino. As the fleshy muscle flexes, the output voltage increases on the sensor. The relationship between the output voltage and the muscle activity can be adjusted using an on-board gain potentiometer.

An updated version of Advancer Technologies’ older Muscle Sensor v3, the MyoWare Muscle Sensor features sevearl improvements, including LED indicators, a power switch, reverse power protection, single-supply operation (so there’s no need for a negative voltage supply) and built-in snap connectors for electrodes. (Please note that to connect the sensor to skin you’ll want to buy several electrodes, which are not included.)

The MyoWare Muscle Sensor is available from Pololu for $37.95.