Derivation of centers and axes of rotation for wrist and fingers in a hand kinematic model: Methods and reliability results

P. Cerveri, N. Lopomo, A. Pedotti, G. Ferrigno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the field of 3D reconstruction of human motion from video, model-based techniques have been proposed to increase the estimation accuracy and the degree of automation. The feasibility of this approach is strictly connected with the adopted biomechanical model. Particularly, the representation of the kinematic chain and the assessment of the corresponding parameters play a relevant role for the success of the motion assessment. In this paper, the focus is on the determination of the kinematic parameters of a general hand skeleton model using surface measurements. A novel method that integrates nonrigid sphere fitting and evolutionary optimization is proposed to estimate the centers and the functional axes of rotation of the skeletal joints. The reliability of the technique is tested using real movement data and simulated motions with known ground truth 3D measurement noise and different ranges of motion (RoM). With respect to standard nonrigid sphere fitting techniques, the proposed method performs 10-50% better in the best condition (very low noise and wide RoM) and over 100% better with physiological artifacts and RoM. Repeatability in the range of a couple of millimeters, on the localization of the centers of rotation, and in the range of one degree, on the axis directions is obtained from real data experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Functional axes
  • Hand kinematical model
  • Rotation centers
  • Surface markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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