Team 4 – MYO… Helping Hand

Team 4 - MYO

The Need:

Many people who live with a chronic health condition suffer from reduced capacity for movement, and as such there are many daily tasks that are difficult to perform unassisted. Rehabilitation can also be impaired, and without one to one therapy support then getting back to original capacity can be a tall order. As is often the case, therapy support is limited, and as such thechnology can be used to augment the physical contact that a client may have with a therapist.

Apart from rehabilitation and other medical / health contexts, controlling aspects of daily life can be challenging for those with reduced movement. Technology can be used to mediate for us, and allow us to work around difficulties or even obviate them.

The teams 4, 5 and 6 all used a brand new piece of technology from Thalmic Labs called MYO – a gesture control tool for interpreting the movements of a person’s arm; sensitive enough to recognize individual gestures of the hand. Interpreting these gestures and translating them into commands for software allows for potentially revolutionary approaches for assistive technology.


The resources for teams 4, 5, & 6 centred around the MYO armband. Each team had a development kit, and software engineers were part of the team structure. This meant that prototypes of the concepts could happen quickly. The teams also had access to the ‘more conventional’ design tools available to the other tools.

Team 4 MYO Process

The Process:

Team 4 were using the MYO armband to find innovative solutions for people who live with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Included in the team were those with intimate knowledge of the condition, including those who live with it.

The team went through a participatory design approach, where a large number of life situations were thought through, to see  what therapy / quality of life benefits there might be for people living with MND.

Team 4 - MYO MND Output

The Output:

Team 4 created a powered glove, that could interpret the signals from the MYO armband, and amplify those through the fingers of the glove. This device would enhance hand strength, like a powered exoskeleton, enabling people living with MND to have a greater quality of life by performing a range of everyday tasks.

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931