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Modeling Kinematic and Dynamic of Human Arm Movement

Study of human arm movement is still an emerging research until now. For years,
much research has been conducted in this field which varies in specific movement
tasks and describes performance of those movements. As other gait analysis, human
arm movement can be related to many applications in real world such as in sport,
entertainment, and clinical rehabilitation. The measurement and analysis can be
different for each task which depends on its purpose. The observation and assessment
for clinical application will be different from those of sport performance.
There are several steps performing by human to do arm motion. Human motion
trajectory is firstly planned in central nervous system (CNS). It requires the help of
visual system to provide the spatial location of the final target to decide the desired
trajectory. Then, the visual coordinate is transformed to body coordinate such as joint
angles or muscle lengths followed by generation of force by muscles to realize the
desired trajectory. These steps may be done simultaneously.
Problems in modelling human Arm
Many attempts have been done to model human arm movement. One of the
difficulties of modelling human arm is that it is task-dependent. Different from
walking which involves only repeating movement, human arm movement can be
differentiated into several movement depend on its task (non-cyclic movement). In
this case, mechanical characteristics of the arm will change based on the arm
configuration. A model can only give a good performance for a specific task based on
the context and its instruction. No standard protocol and adopted system are available
(Rau, 2001). It even shows in existing research that none of model could give a
good prediction of data.
Recently, a number of models of human arm movement with different complexity
have already been developed for a better understanding of its biomechanics. Many
existing research tried to adopt robotic manipulator principle to form a model of
human arm movement. By this, they stated that the end-effector or in this case hand

trajectory is firstly planned at the object level (Flash, 1998).However, Admiral
(2004) argues that movements actually are planned at kinematic levels such as in joint
level and the muscle will generate forces to execute the planned movements.
In doing experiment of arm movement, several restrictions have to be applied such
that all task have to be simple, easy to be applied, reliable, not time consuming and
clear in result. Therefore, in many arm movement experiments mostly focusing on
two different tasks with visually guided which are pointing and reaching movement.
These two movements represent arm movement with fully extended arm and
changing between fully extended and unextended arm. The task involves two joints
which are shoulder and elbow which then can be assumed as movement in 2
Most of the arm movement were tested in planar horizontal plane. However, they
could not represent the real movement which mostly performed in vertical plane. By
testing in vertical plane, the influence of gravity in this case should not be neglected.
In .(..), it showed that gravity has a insignificant influence in the arm trajectory
formation. Kodek and Munih(2003) argued with this result as in their experiment, it
shows that arm dynamic especially at low velocities is only influenced by the sum of
gravitational effects, passive moment and velocity dependent. Yet, their study only
used programmed trajectories which allowed a very good motion repeatability which
is not possible in normal unconstrained movements. Moreover, they only inspected
the trajectories of elbow joint by claiming that the other joint do not have any
dynamic contributions to the dynamic of motion.
One of the commonly problems in arm movement is the flexibility of arm to execute
either a simple or complex movement by using various posture. The difficulties of
accessing human arm movement trajectory is a very large number of possible
trajectory that which could be performed by arm to move from a point to another
point in unconstrained environment which determined either by the path or the time
required to reach each point within a path(Sanger, 2000). This raises a question of
how human can select a particular trajectory to position their arm into a specific

One of the confirmed results from existing research is that human arm is consistent
and reproducible. By using several model to predict the trajectory of human arm it
showed that there is a tendency for human to move their arm in straight trajectory
with almost a bell-shaped velocity profile. However, experiment on human arm
movement showed that the trajectory of arm mostly formed a curved profile. This
could also support the argument that most of the models do not accurately describe
the movement.
As mentioned above, the arm trajectory is firstly planned in CNS. Therefore, it can be
assumed that the straight trajectory is also planned before do the motion. In fact, most
experiment demonstrated that hand trajectory commonly in curved profile. This case
happened in spontaneous hand movement. Nevertheless, after repeating the same
motion several times, hand tends to form almost straight trajectory with bell-shaped
velocity profile ().
Moreover, stability is other very important factor in human movement. The major aim
in controlling human movement is to make a response or movement trajectory (after










trajectory/response. However, it is very difficult to obtain stability in human

movement as there is large variability in consecutive performances of the same action.
The environment interaction also adds to the variability of the movement. The human
motor control as with any physical system produces movement in finite duration of
In examining human arm stability, there are two factors that have to be considered in
the model. Firstly, joint stiffness which is defined as loss range of motion of human
arm. Secondly, mechanical impedance is dynamic mapping of motion to force.
Impedance of human arm depends on position (Mussa-Ivaldi 1985), force (Gomi
and Osu 1998; Perreault 2001) and instability (Burdet 2001). Therefore, to
obtain impedance of human arm, many movements have to be done in one
measurement. However, it can be either done in static position (Mussa-Ivaldi
1985) or during arm movement (Bennet 1992; Bennet 1993; Milner 1993; Gomi
and Kawato 1997; Burdet 2000). To answer the question, Tee (2004)
introduced a simple model of joint torque and impedance of human arm movement by

considering every dynamic interaction between arm and environment. However, their
model cannot be adapted in all environment quite well as they only design the model
on joint-based.
Moreover, several research use joint space model to describe the movement of arm.
Burdet (2005) consider the muscle force which produced in joint limb in
modelling the movement. The model is build based on inverse dynamic model of the
task which is arm movement in horizontal plane. Arm is described as two links
(shoulder and elbow) which move ahead of the body in x-y plane to reach one target
point. The result shows that human arm movement is generally stable as muscle
elasticity and reflex compensate the perturbation which adding to arm motion.
In addition, external forces in arm movement experiment are difficult to access in real
application. In many experiment, robot manipulator have been used in assisting
human arm to ensure that the arm will follow specific trajectory. It could also help in
measuring external forces which could be given to the arm.
By looking all problems that related in human arm movement, it could be questioned
how the kinematic of arm affect the formation of hand trajectory in moving arm
between points.
Posture-Based Principle
Donders law
This model is derived based on the movement of eyes. The method to model
movement of eyes in 3D can also be applied to arm movement. It states that
Equlibrium trajectory hypothesis.
Study of human arm movement is mostly focusing on the concepts of equilibrium and
virtual trajectories as a means of executing movement of the arm. Equilibrium point
hypotheses states that muscle-generated points as a natural description of equilibrium
or attractor point of muscle activation have sufficient influence to generate two-joint
arm movements. Most of existing research show that this attractor point exist in the

virtual path or trajectories of human arm movement but it just has small influence
compared to the dynamics of human movement. Won and Hogan (1995) argued this
statement by proving that a moving attractor point has significant influence in the
dynamic of human arm movement. Their results show that this attractor point is
bounded closely to the actual trajectory of human arm movement. Therefore, this
point can be used in planning and coordinating multijoint movement which is aligned
to the equilibrium hypotheses.
However, the model based on this principle has a weakness that it has too many
version about the formation of hand trajectories. The formation can be performed
either in single joint level, single muscle level or in single effector level. By this
reason, the general prediction based on this model with respect to arm postures would
be impossible to be performed.
Principle of minimum cost
This model is conducted based on principle of minimum work. The common principle
in this model is that human tends to do work that consumes the minimum energy. As
mentioned above, in moving their arms, they tend to follow straight trajectory with
bell-shaped speed profile(.).As it is counted as the path that requires minimum
work to move arm from one point to another point, the tendency could be assumed as
one of the possible human strategies to save energy.
However, in other study of arm movement (Atkenson, 1985; Isenberg and
Conrad,1994) shows that the trajectories of human arm in planar horizontal as well as
unrestrained vertical arm movements are not ideally straight but show some amount
of curvature profile depending on the workspace.
Proposed Method
Spherical Pendulum Model
Pendulum model can be used to quantitatively describe the position of a body or
segment. Commonly used tools is in Cartesian coordinate.

Within the available research, the study of human arm which use robot manipulator
theory to model human arm contributes a significant number. The researcher used the
system that resembles the actual system of human arm. This can be done by assuming
that for both robot and human arm, mechanical objectives of movement and
manipulation are identical and by applying the same law of physics. However, this
system cannot be used to represent the real human arm system as its model involves
many constraints that cannot be applied to human model.

The position of arm should only depend on joint angle but not on other property of
arm geometry such as length of the limb (Cruse,1993). However, as we seen on
mathematical model of human arm.
Mathematical Modeling
The human arm considering two limbs, upper arm and forearm, with two joint
(shoulder and elbow). In this case, wrist is considered as a part of forearm. lu and l f
represents the length of upper arm and forearm respectively. Link masses and inertia
are denoted by mi and Ii where i 1,2 . All links are considered rigid and frictions at
each joint are neglected.



Picture 1. View from sagittal plane

Picture 2. View from medial plane (x-y plane)

= rotation angle about the vertical Z-axis

= rotation angle about an axis perpendicular to the plane of the arm

= rotation about humeral axis
= angle of flexion of the forearm

The location of the elbow ( x e , y e , z e ) is given by :

x e Lu sin sin
y e Lu cos sin
z e Lu cos

Where Lu = length of the upper arm

The location of the wrist ( x f , y f , z f ) is given by :
x f x e L f sin cos sin cos sin cos

y f y e L f sin cos cos cos sin cos

z f z e L f sin cos sin

Where L f = length of the forearm

The three separate components of the angular-velocity vector of the upper arm :

x sin sin cos 0

y cos sin sin 0
cos 0 1




y cos sin sin

As the velocity of the centre of mass is expressed as :

for the centre of mass of the upper arm :

v x r ,

then the velocity

12 Lu y

vu L

2 u x

The velocity of the centre of mass for the forearm :



y Lu cos z sin



v f x Lu cos cos

Lf Lf

x 2 sin 2 sin

In this case there are 4 angles that should be computed which are , , , .
The amount of work needed to move arm:

T . d

T . dt

mi . v i
i 1, 2 2

1 T
i . I i . i

Where : I i = the moment of inertia for upper arm and forearm respectively
Therefore taking all above equations and put them into equation of amount of work :

m [ 14 Lu ( x y ) 14 y .L f cos 2 y Lu . L f cos 14 z L f sin 2
y x L f sin ( Lu 12 cos ) 14 x .L f x .Lu .L f cos ( x )
12 x . L f 14 2 L f ]

1 2
[ ( I 1 I 2 ) 2 ( I 1 I 2 ) 2 ( I 1 I 2 ) 2 cos ( I 1 I 2 ) 2 I 2 sin sin
2 I 2 cos ]

In this equation, upper arm and forearm are assumed to be solid cylindrical shape, so
that :


where r = distance from joint to centre of mass.

The arm trajectory is derived by using principle of minimum cost which in this case
could be obtained by minimizing the amount of work subject to the position of wrist
in the workspace.