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Manipulability analysis of human thumb, index and middle fingers in cooperative 3D rotational movements of a small object

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2013

M. Felix Orlando
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
Ashish Dutta
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
Anupam Saxena
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
Laxmidhar Behera
Affiliation:
Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
Tomoya Tamei
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara 630-0192, Japan
Tomohiro Shibata
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara 630-0192, Japan
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

The combined motion of the human thumb, index and middle fingers while rotating a small object across the extended, intermediate and flexed planes with respect to the fingers was analyzed. Auto reflective markers were attached on the fingers to track their motion across three postures and planes via a 3D motion capture system. Central, right and left rotation postures were considered in each plane for investigation and the rotation experiments were performed with 30 healthy subjects. The obtained data were used to compute the finger joint angles. Based on the three criteria of (i) manipulability measure, (ii) major axis direction angle of the manipulability ellipsoid and (iii) ratio of the minor over major axis lengths, the collective behavior of the fingers was studied. It has been found after analysis that the thumb and middle finger were active, while the index finger operated passively when manipulating small objects in cooperative rotational motion across the three planes. Activeness refers to the independence of a digit in controlling the motion of an object whereas passiveness denotes its dependence on other digits. An active finger governs the motion of an object whereas a passive finger simply supports it. The results of this investigation are of great importance in planning treatment for rehabilitation and for designing controllers for robotic therapists, finger exoskeletons and prostheses.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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