The Hand-Machine Interface

  • Colin G. Drury
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 25)


Three types of interface between the human hand and the world of machinery are distinguished. They are handles for moving objects, handrails for steadying the human and controls for transmitting information to a machine. For each type of human/machine interface the shape, size and texture of the handle need to be considered. The literature is reviewed on handles, handrails and hand controls, giving consistent recommendations on interfaces which fit the hand. Handle position and angle are considered for two types of tasks, manual materials handling and push/pull tasks. Both laboratory and field studies show that handle positions on boxes should encourage a ‘diagonally opposite’ grip which has both horizontal and vertical stability. Handle angle should be such as to minimize radial and ulnar deviations of the wrist. For pushing and pulling tasks the handle should be 900 – 1100 mm above ground level and foot obstructions should be avoided to allow free walking while pushing and pulling.


Grip Force Hand Position Human Hand Ulnar Deviation Power Grip 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin G. Drury
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringState University of New York at BuffaloUSA

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