Multi-Day EMG-Based Knee Joint Torque Estimation Using Hybrid Neuromusculoskeletal Modelling and Convolutional Neural Networks

Robert V. Schulte*, Marijke Zondag, Jaap H. Buurke, Erik C. Prinsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Proportional control using surface electromyography (EMG) enables more intuitive control of a transfemoral prosthesis. However, EMG is a noisy signal which can vary over time, giving rise to the question what approach for knee torque estimation is most suitable for multi-day control. In this study we compared three different modelling frameworks to estimate knee torque in non-weight-bearing situations. The first model contained a convolutional neural network (CNN) which mapped EMG to knee torque directly. The second used a neuromusculoskeletal model (NMS) which used EMG, muscle tendon unit lengths and moment arms to compute knee torque. The third model (Hybrid) used a CNN to map EMG to specific muscle activation, which was used together with NMS components to compute knee torque. Multi-day measurements were conducted on ten able-bodied participants who performed non-weight bearing activities. CNN had the best performance in general and on each day (Normalized Root Mean Squared Error (NRMSE) 9.2 ± 4.4%). The Hybrid model (NRMSE 12.4 ± 3.4%) was able to outperform NMS (NRMSE 14.3 ± 4.2%). The NMS model showed no significant difference between measurement days. The CNN model and Hybrid models had significant performance differences between the first day and all other days. CNNs are suited for multi-day torque estimation in terms of error rate, outperforming the other two model types. NMS was the only model type which was robust over all days. This study investigated the behavior of three model types over multiple days, giving insight in the most suited modelling approach for multi-day torque estimation to be used in prosthetic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number869476
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in robotics and AI
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022


  • Lower limb
  • Machine learning
  • Motor intent recognition
  • Myoelectric control
  • Neuromuscular modelling
  • Torque estimation


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