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Research Papers

Estimation of Maximum Finger Tapping Frequency Using Musculoskeletal Dynamic Simulations

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammad Sharif Shourijeh

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
e-mail: msharifs@uottawa.ca

Reza Sharif Razavian

Department of Systems Design Engineering,
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, ON N2L-3G1, Canada
e-mail: rsharifr@uwaterloo.ca

John McPhee

Department of Systems Design Engineering,
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, ON N2L-3G1, Canada
e-mail: mcphee@uwaterloo.ca

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. Manuscript received April 13, 2016; final manuscript received February 21, 2017; published online May 4, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Arend L. Schwab.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 12(5), 051009 (May 04, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: CND-16-1194; doi: 10.1115/1.4036288 History: Received April 13, 2016; Revised February 21, 2017

A model for forward dynamic simulation of the rapid tapping motion of an index finger is presented. The finger model was actuated by two muscle groups: one flexor and one extensor. The goal of this analysis was to estimate the maximum tapping frequency that the index finger can achieve using forward dynamics simulations. To achieve this goal, each muscle excitation signal was parameterized by a seventh-order Fourier series as a function of time. Simulations found that the maximum tapping frequency was 6 Hz, which is reasonably close to the experimental data. Amplitude attenuation (37% at 6 Hz) due to excitation/activation filtering, as well as the inability of muscles to produce enough force at high contractile velocities, are factors that prevent the finger from moving at higher frequencies. Musculoskeletal models have the potential to shed light on these restricting mechanisms and help to better understand human capabilities in motion production.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

The schematic of the musculoskeletal finger model

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Fig. 2

The simulation results for different frequencies. The columns from left to right show: the desired and simulated joint angle trajectories, flexor/extensor muscle excitation and activation, and flexor/extensor muscle force. To provide more clarity, muscle results are shown for one period only.

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Fig. 3

(a) Variation of motion frequency and cost function values and (b) the ratio of the tracking error term to the total cost function value

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Fig. 4

Optimal results for fd = 2 Hz and 50% of index finger mass; from left to right: joint angle trajectories, muscle excitation/activations, and muscle force. To provide more clarity, muscle results are shown for one period only.

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Fig. 5

The frequency response of the excitation/activation dynamics. The dynamics perform similar to a low-pass filer with a bandwidth of about 4 Hz. Thus, the activation signal amplitude drops at high frequencies.

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Fig. 6

The force–length–velocity relation in the muscle model

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