A portable, self-contained neuroprosthetic hand with deep learning-based finger control

Anh Tuan Nguyen, Markus W. Drealan, Diu Khue Luu, Ming Jiang, Jian Xu, Jonathan Cheng, Qi Zhao, Edward W. Keefer, Zhi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective. Deep learning-based neural decoders have emerged as the prominent approach to enable dexterous and intuitive control of neuroprosthetic hands. Yet few studies have materialized the use of deep learning in clinical settings due to its high computational requirements. Approach. Recent advancements of edge computing devices bring the potential to alleviate this problem. Here we present the implementation of a neuroprosthetic hand with embedded deep learning-based control. The neural decoder is designed based on the recurrent neural network architecture and deployed on the NVIDIA Jetson Nano - a compacted yet powerful edge computing platform for deep learning inference. This enables the implementation of the neuroprosthetic hand as a portable and self-contained unit with real-time control of individual finger movements. Main results. A pilot study with a transradial amputee is conducted to evaluate the proposed system using peripheral nerve signals acquired from implanted intrafascicular microelectrodes. The preliminary experiment results show the system's capabilities of providing robust, high-accuracy (95%-99%) and low-latency (50-120 ms) control of individual finger movements in various laboratory and real-world environments. Conclusion. This work is a technological demonstration of modern edge computing platforms to enable the effective use of deep learning-based neural decoders for neuroprosthesis control as an autonomous system. Significance. The proposed system helps pioneer the deployment of deep neural networks in clinical applications underlying a new class of wearable biomedical devices with embedded artificial intelligence. Clinical trial registration: DExterous Hand Control Through Fascicular Targeting (DEFT). Identifier: NCT02994160.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056051
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • NVIDIA Jetson Nano
  • artificial intelligence
  • deep learning
  • electroneurography (ENG)
  • motor decoding
  • neuroprosthesis
  • peripheral nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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