During phase I we developed and tested a force measurement system that provides a fast, objective and quantitative description of the optimal pattern of grasping forces using in a bimanual manipulation task in humans. The system can quantitatively approximate the state of the motor system in terms of efficiency and precision, as force is the fundamental building block of movement. Our system is the first to simultaneously measure and provide a comprehensive assessment of grasping forces during bimanual object manipulation. The market for this system is growing as the quantification of movement is of interest to a wide range of professionals including bioengineers, biomechanists, clinicians, educators, ergonomists/human factor engineers, geriatricians, neuroscientists, psychologists, and rehabilitation specialists. The Phase II objectives are: 1. To expand the reliability, accuracy and generalizability of the system. 2. Continue to improve the hardware of the system. 3. Performing an extended analysis of the force and torque data produced by each limb and identifying how these variables may relate to other measures. 4. Create optional protocols to improve the flexibility of the system. 5. Streamline the user interface so it complies with recent PC interaction standards. 6. Imp5ove methods of visualizing the data. Our system combines portability, flexibility and innovative analyses to effectively assess the state of the motor system in bimanual force control.
The assessment of movement impairments can be more objective through the evaluation of forces exerted by the hands during an object manipulation task that resembles daily activities. Quantifying force patterns between hands provides an opportunity to assess how individuals control and coordinate forces. No similar movement analysis system is available. The potential marker consists of neurological clinics, motor control research laboratories, health insurance companies, and human factors assessment centers.