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A Practical System for Hands-Off ComputerInteraction Based on EMG/Eye Gaze Tracking

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"A Practical System for Hands-Off ComputerInteraction Based on EMG/Eye Gaze Tracking", (2002)
E. Al-Masri, and A. Barreto

ABSTRACT: A significant population of handicapped individuals cannot operate standard personal computers with the ordinary input devices, such as the mouse or keyboard. The purpose of this study is to develop an alternate input device that can be used by individuals with severe motor disabilities. This paper illustrates the development and the underlying principle for a practical hands-off human computer interface based on EMG signals and EGT.

In this interface, the standard computer mouse is not used. Instead, a combination of Electromyogram (EMG) and Eye Gaze Tracking (EGT) sub-systems are utilized to obtain short and long cursor displacement control. EMG signals measured from the user's facial muscles are used to provide accurate cursor movement in small position adjustments, while a combined head mounted eye tracker provides quick cursor displacement in long excursions. The system also provides a reliable clicking mechanism.

A major component of this research focuses on how to improve the navigation time and reliability of the EMG/EGT human-computer interface. In our latest prototype, we pursue this through the integration of a head mounted eye tracker to compute the Point of Gaze (POG) and head mounted virtual reality goggles to provide a computer screen display that does not shift when the user moves in his/her seat. The result is an affordable DSP-based system that, when combined with an on-screen keyboard, enables the user to fully operate a computer without using any extremities.