Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Robert Szlavik


Personal computers and portable electronics continue to rapidly advance and integrate into our lives as tools that facilitate efficient communication and interaction with the outside world. Now with a multitude of different devices available, personal computers are accessible to a wider audience than ever before. To continue to expand and reach new users, novel user interface technologies have been developed, such as touch input and gyroscopic motion, in which enhanced control fidelity can be achieved. For users with limited-to-no use of their hands, or for those who seek additional means to intuitively use and command a computer, novel sensory systems can be employed that interpret the natural electric signals produced by the human body as command inputs. One of these novel sensor systems is the myoelectric detection circuit, which can measure electromyographic (EMG) signals produced by contracting muscles through specialized electrodes, and convert the signals into a usable form through an analog circuit. With the goal of making a general-purpose myoelectric detection circuit platform for computer interface applications, several electrical circuit designs were iterated using OrCAD software, manufactured using PCB fabrication techniques, and tested with electrical measurement equipment and in a computer simulation. The analog circuit design culminated in a 1.35” x 0.8” manufactured analog myoelectric detection circuit unit that successfully converts a measured EMG input signal from surface skin electrodes to a clean and usable 0-5 V DC output that seamlessly interfaces with an Arduino Leonardo microcontroller for further signal processing and logic operations. Multiple input channels were combined with a microcontroller to create an EMG interface device that was used to interface with a PC, where simulated mouse cursor movement was controlled through the voluntary EMG signals provided by a user. Functional testing of the interface device was performed, which showed a long battery life of 44.6 hours, and effectiveness in using a PC to type with an on-screen keyboard.