Description of Study:
We plan to use cutting edge technology to measure the pressure and force it takes to perform common tasks. It may be surprising to know that we do not know much about the force (torque) required to open jars or perform other common tasks. We know even less about the limitations people have after surgery or the difficulties people have with hand arthritis.
In this study, we have determined a series of activities that we do on a daily basis. We will have a group of normal volunteers perform those activities and then measure the pressures and forces it takes to accomplish those tasks.
This information can be used in many ways. It could for example be used to help design jars that the elderly can open but young children cannot. It can be used to help understand the limitations that the elderly have and then design ways to improve their ability to remain independent.
Another exciting direction for future study can be to study how primates use tools. We hope to work with the zoo to have different types of primates use tools and then measure the forces that they require for tool use. Anthropologists can use the information to help understand early hominid development and what the early humans could do with their hands.