Design and Use of an Apparatus for Presenting Graspable Objects in 3D Workspace

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Reaching and grasping are highly-coupled movements, and their underlying neural dynamics have been widely studied in the last decade. To distinguish reaching and grasping encodings, it is essential to present different object identities independent of their positions. Presented here is the design of an automatic apparatus that is assembled with a turning table and three-dimensional (3D) translational device to achieve this goal. The turning table switches different objects corresponding to different grip types while the 3D translational device transports the turning table in 3D space. Both are driven independently by motors so that the target position and object are combined arbitrarily. Meanwhile, wrist trajectory and grip types are recorded via the motion capture system and touch sensors, respectively. Furthermore, representative results that demonstrate successfully trained monkey using this system are described. It is expected that this apparatus will facilitate researchers to study kinematics, neural principles, and brain-machine interfaces related to upper limb function.