Virtual human hand: model and kinematics

Esteban Peña-Pitarch, Neus Ticó Falguera, Jingzhou (James) Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The human hand plays an important role in daily life. It is the interface between the human and the exterior world by positioning, orienting, touching and grasping objects. The human hand has multiple degrees of freedom (DOFs) to enable mobility and dexterity. A virtual human hand model can be inserted into CAD (Computer Aided Design) models to assess the manipulation capabilities in the early design stage to reduce design time and cost. Joystick assessment is one of the important design cases. This study is a first step towards a comprehensive hand simulation tool to simulate the manipulation and grasping of objects. This paper presents a novel 25 DOFs' hand skeletal model based on hand anatomy and hand kinematics: (1) joint range of motion, (2) Denavit-Hartenberg method to define the joint relationship and (3) finger workspace determination. Novelty for this hand model includes arching the palm with the four DOFs added in the carpometacarpal and wrist joints for the ring and small fingers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-579
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • kinematics
  • simulation
  • virtual human
  • virtual human hand


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