Surface electromyography is apparently now able to recognize and even synthesize speech based on a certain pattern. An acoustic signal is corrupted by high environmental noise. Astronauts that perform operations in spacesuits fall victim to this phenomenon. Earthbound firefighters are also subject to these limitations. Even SCUBA divers would be able to experience a positive boon by the development of a technology that is directly connected with the success of space exploration.
Therefore, surface electromyography is an excellent tool to use to overcome these problems. This technology can even be used to control robotic equipment in some applications. Astronauts may very well be able to use machinery by simply voicing their commands to the devices. Orbital machinery is currently quite clumsy, and astronauts are forced to wear large gloves that make this even more of a problem. Speech control would be a nice way to solve these issues, and improve the safety of missions.
People are already discovering the benefits of this advanced technology. Surface electromyography has applications in chiropractic medicine. Some individuals have begun to develop devices that would allow people to control computers only through musculoskeletal surface electromyography. These controllers might very well begin to blur the line between man and machine.
sEMG (surface electromyography) controlled AL5A robotic arm
Jorgensen, C., & Dusan, S. (2010). Speech interfaces based upon surface electromyography Speech Communication, 52 (4), 354-366 DOI: 10.1016/j.specom.2009.11.003
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