Classifying Human Hand Use and the Activities of Daily Living

  • Aaron M. Dollar
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 95)


Humans use their hands for a large variety of tasks during daily life. In this chapter, a discussion of human hand use is presented, including classification schemes for grasping and manipulation behaviors. First, a simple classification of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is presented, providing some structure to a terminology that is typically used in an ad hoc manner. Next, an overview of work related to classifications and taxonomies of static grasp types is presented, followed by a study investigating the frequency of use of various grasp types by a housekeeper and machinist. Finally, a taxonomy classifying hand-based manipulation is presented, providing a hand-centric and motion-centric categorization of hand use. These descriptions and classifications of hand use should prove useful to researchers interested in robotic manipulation, prosthetics, rehabilitation, and biomechanics.


Grasping Manipulation Activities of daily living Robotics Taxonomy 



The author would like to thank Ian Bullock, Josh Zheng, Sara De La Rosa, and Kayla Matheus for their work on the studies presented in this paper, Lael Odhner, Raymond Ma, and Leif Jentoft for their helpful discussions related to the manipulation taxonomy, and to Kayla Matheus for helping to create the hand drawings used in the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials ScienceYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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