Event Scheduled for May 3, 2012
Event: Shane Tornifoglio-Thesis Defense: Development and Application of a Portable System to Reliably Measure Grip Forces Using Thin-Film Force Sensors
Location: Biodynamics Laboratory, UConn Health Center
Time: 10:00 am
Details of Event:
Accurate tracking of hand grip force is an important characteristic needed for a robust understanding in the study of human biomechanics. One aspect where it proves useful is in hand-arm vibration, such as from gripping a power tool. Depending on how firmly the user is gripping the tool they may change their exposure levels to the tool vibration, which can lead to potential sensorineural disorders such as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Raynaud's phenomenon. A small, portable, battery powered signal conditioning box has been developed to supply power to and condition the signals from eight thin-film sensors. This box can help give a better understanding of the grip force used on many different tool applications that were previously immeasurable. Using this information, knowledge can be gained in determining how much of a role grip force plays in the onset of aforementioned diseases.
Using the signal conditioning box, two different applications are explored. First is the use of an instrumented handle in conjunction with thin-film force sensors in order to determine how well the thin-film sensors can model the overall grip strength using the handle as a reference. Using varying numbers of sensors to map the hand, correction factors can be determined to calculate a range of the actual grip force represented by the number of thin-film sensors used.
The second application applies to work done in the field. Several grip force measurements were made in the field while subjects were using pneumatic power tools. An on subject calibration of the thin-film sensors was performed using the same instrumented handle that was used in the laboratory experiments. The box allowed for the thin-film sensors to be used in the calibration as well as the actual tool use measurement. Using the correction factors from the laboratory study on the data collected in the field, a better understanding of grip force can be attained. This understanding is from a real work environment rather than a laboratory tool simulation conducted by lab personnel unfamiliar with the tool, which could bias the results. Applying this method of tracking, grip force is expected to obtain a better understanding of how grip force plays a role in HAVS and how tool handle designs can be improved.
Sponsored By: Biomedical Engineering
Pamphlet/Flyer: View file here