Characterizing Pediatric Hand Grasps During Activities of Daily Living to Inform Robotic Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies

IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot. 2022 Jul:2022:1-6. doi: 10.1109/ICORR55369.2022.9896512.


Hand function plays a critical role in how we interact with our physical environment. Hand motor impairments in children can compromise many facets of their daily life including physical independence and social interactions. For adults, there has been an emergence of mechatronic rehabilitation systems to improve hand mobility, strength, and dexterity; assistive technologies such as exoskeletons to drive impaired digits; and highly dexterous upper limb prostheses. Although similar devices are on the clinical horizon for children, childhood play, motor development, and daily activities mean they use their hands in fundamentally different ways than adults. It is imperative that devices for this population facilitate their unique needs; yet it is not completely known which hand movements may be of the highest priority during daily tasks or rehabilitation to best foster functional independence. Here, we evaluated and categorized the hand activity of two children in their home environments. Small wearable video cameras were attached to the children as they performed daily tasks and the video footage was analyzed to obtain the frequency and duration of their hand grasp movements. It was found that 7 common grasps accounted for 90% or greater of the children's hand activity in duration and frequency. This suggests, that like adults, a repertoire of common hand grasps may be prioritized by rehabilitative or assistive devices to ensure effective outcomes in performing daily activities.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Hand
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Self-Help Devices*