MRI-compatible wearable actuator for measuring sense of agency

[Speaker] Tanaka, Shota:1
[Co-author] Suzumori, Koichi:1, Nabae, Hiroyuki:1, Yoshida, Takako:1
1:Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)

A power assist suit is a wearable robot that augments human power and supports human action. Although demand is growing for power assist suits in the market, scientific understanding of human factors remains still unclear, such as the brain processes associated with suit usability. Here, we developed a MRI-compatible wearable actuator that generates wrist flexion and extension by pressurization of McKibben artificial muscles using 2.0 mm diameter tubes. The actuator can be controlled by solenoid valves located outside the MRI room. Our aim is to use the actuator in studies of brain processes and plasticity related to sense of agency, which is the sense that the self, not the robot, causes body movement. We examine this sense in relation to self-body recognition in order to measure and optimize the usability of power assist suits. Possible psychophysical measurements and functional MRI studies are discussed.
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