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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 910961, 17 pages
Research Article

Constraint Study for a Hand Exoskeleton: Human Hand Kinematics and Dynamics

Center for Space Human Robotics@Polito, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Corso Trento 21, 10129 Torino, Italy

Received 10 May 2013; Revised 26 July 2013; Accepted 30 July 2013

Academic Editor: Kazuhiko Terashima

Copyright © 2013 Fai Chen Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the last few years, the number of projects studying the human hand from the robotic point of view has increased rapidly, due to the growing interest in academic and industrial applications. Nevertheless, the complexity of the human hand given its large number of degrees of freedom (DoF) within a significantly reduced space requires an exhaustive analysis, before proposing any applications. The aim of this paper is to provide a complete summary of the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of the human hand as a preliminary step towards the development of hand devices such as prosthetic/robotic hands and exoskeletons imitating the human hand shape and functionality. A collection of data and constraints relevant to hand movements is presented, and the direct and inverse kinematics are solved for all the fingers as well as the dynamics; anthropometric data and dynamics equations allow performing simulations to understand the behavior of the finger.