An Evolvable Hardware Chip for a Prosthetic-Hand Controller--New Reconfigurable Hardware Paradigm--

Isamu KAJITANI  Masaya IWATA  Nobuyuki OTSU  Tetsuya HIGUCHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E86-D   No.5   pp.882-890
Publication Date: 2003/05/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Reconfigurable Computing)
reconfigurable hardware,  genetic algorithm,  evolvable hardware,  prosthetic-hand,  

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This paper presents a new reconfigurable hardware paradigm, called evolvable hardware (EHW), and its application to the biomedical engineering problem of an artificial hand controller. Evolvable hardware is based on the idea of combining a reconfigurable hardware device with an artificial intelligence robust search technique called genetic algorithms (GAs) to execute reconfiguration autonomously. The first version of the EHW chip was designed in 1998, and this paper describes the latest improvements to the EHW chip, as well as outlining its architecture and the hardware implementation of the GA operations. Execution speed for genetic operations is shown to be about 38.7 times faster with the hardware implementation than with software program running on an AMD Athlon processor (1.2GHz). As an application of the EHW chip, this paper introduces a controller for a multi-functional prosthetic-hand, and presents experimental data in which a practical myoelectric pattern classification rate of 97.8% was achieved through the application of the EHW chip.