Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. James Johnson


This thesis outlines the design and development of an active motion simulator for the investigation of wrist kinematics in multiple gravity loaded positions. Using optical trackers on the third metacarpal, radius, and ulna, the position of the wrist was monitored in real time without introducing material incompatibilities as present for electromagnetic tracking systems. Performance of the system was performed using a series of five cadaver upper limbs that compared the ability to produce repeatable trials using unrestrained active motion techniques over passive manipulation methods. Comparisons to achieve static positions as well as motion trials in flexion-extension and radial-ulnar deviation planes proved the superior performance of computer controlled motion over that of passive manipulation. Investigation into the application of tendon portioning to model in-vivo conditions more accurately suggest that they may improve overall quality of motion.