EMG switch

For people with extremely limited mobility pressing an switch can be difficult or impossible. I recently came across a project that used an adafruit feather board and a Myoware muscle sensor to make wireless Bluetooth controller that could activate with a muscle twitch.

If someone could help me figure out how to change the output to be a HID keyboard, it could be a powerful tool for someone who is locked in or with extremely limited mobility.

The parts are under 100$ and the only other comparable commercial product I could find was this:

You can only buy it through insurance. Without it it is about 16,000$. You have to buy the whole package. I have actually tested it out. I have one of the few neurological conditions that it can be covered for. It Helped a lot. I used it as an activation switch in conjuction with eye tracking. It made the whole process of learning to navigate and type with my eyes much more intuitive.

The other cool thing about it is that the sensor outputs a range. So it could be used as more than a binary switch. It measure how hard you flex the muscle. So you could have several keystrokes associated with how hard you squeeze your muscle.

I think this project could help a lot of people who desperately need it.


Hi Jake,

I may not understand your question entirely. But if you wanted to print the letter ‘a’, for example, everytime the sensor value is above the threshold, in the code SupBrows_V2.ino, replace the line:


I’m not sure if this is what you were looking for. Also, it’s possible to have different threshold (values) for different letters or even combinations of multiple sensors.

I hope this helps


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Nice! I would love to see how this project turns out. Yes, the Neuronode has a head-spinning price tag. The switch software/ pairing app is a bit more complex since it works to filter out noise triggers and provides a friendly user interface to adjust the trigger and release thresholds. They also have a way to adjust for the user’s fatigue throughout the day which is a big concern for users of this type of device.

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@jakekoten It looks like a good project. Its quite ambitious to create a tool for people with locked-in syndrome. I suggest thinking of another group of people who might be interested, people with focomelia. Some body areas have residual muscle activity that does not serve for movements. These can be used for a control. Robust EMG control is however very difficult (I suggest readings from Roberto Merletti and Dario Farina). However just a generic on/off control may be extremely useful for a start. If you have possibilities of working with people living with these challenges you could really make a change.

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@MMC_Jake or @stephanieso posted an interesting idea here Device to hold a book and turn pages with remote trigger or facial expression

I am still working on this project. I am a little limited by my disability but I am getting friends and family are helping.

I am basically trying to combine this project

with the sup brows project above.

If someone wants to help I would be happy to send a prototype or the parts.

Hi @jakekoten, sounds very interesting. So the video is your system or what you are building? How can I send you a PM? I’d like to ask your opinion about an idea for EMG control.

If you follow the instructions for building the sup brows project

you will essentially have my prototype except for a few things. You are welcome to pm me,.

Thanks, I’m new in the forum. How do I PM you?