Real-time simulation of hand motion for prosthesis control

Dimitra Blana* (Corresponding Author), Edward K Chadwick, Antonie J van den Bogert, Wendy M Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals with hand amputation suffer substantial loss of independence. Performance of sophisticated prostheses is limited by the ability to control them. To achieve natural and simultaneous control of all wrist and hand motions, we propose to use real-time biomechanical simulation to map between residual EMG and motions of the intact hand. Here we describe a musculoskeletal model of the hand using only extrinsic muscles to determine whether real-time performance is possible. Simulation is 1.3 times faster than real time, but the model is locally unstable. Methods are discussed to increase stability and make this approach suitable for prosthesis control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-549
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date20 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant number R01-EB011615].


  • Artificial Limbs
  • Computer Simulation
  • Electromyography/methods
  • Hand/physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Motion
  • Muscles/physiology
  • Posture
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Sign Language


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