From: Library of Congress, id: cph 3b48819, 1936
From: Library of Congress, id: cph 3b48819, 1936

Recently, there were a couple of papers in the IEEE Transactions on Haptics on the analysis of graps. We’d like to mention them here, since they provide helpful information for the requirement definition of haptic systems.

It starts out with Bullock et al. [1], where the usage of graps throughout the day is analyzed for machine shop and houshold tasks. To do this, the authors use a head mounted camera and analyzed several hours of video for two housemaids and machinists. The paper analyzes, how often each grasp type (based on the taxonomy of Feix et al. [2]) is used, how long a grasp is used and which transitions between grasp types exist.

Based on this study, Feix & Bullock investigate the shape and weight of objects used in daily life and deduce mechanical and geometrical properties of the used grasps [3]. The results can be applied to the design of hand-like interfaces and robotic hands as a basis for the interaction analysis and requirement definition.
The group further analyzes the correlation between objects, grasps and tasks in a second paper [4], indicating that the common taxonomy of power, intermediate and precision grasps may not be appropiate. Furthermore, the paper shows that object size and mass and the task constraints are good predictors for the grasp type used. The GRAB Lab, where the above mentioned researchers belong to, has some more interesting results, for example about the workspace of different grasp types [5].

In another work, Gonzales et al. investigate the contact areas of the hand involved in different types of interactions [6]. Some of the analysis is based on the above mentioned work by Bullock et al. (Raw data of the study is openly provided). The analysis shows, which part of the hand is involved in certain types of interactions. It can be used for example for the determination of applicable areas for tool contact or tactile information transfer in a haptic system. For that, several graphical tools are designed in the work and evaluated for the known examples of housemaid, machinist and exploration tasks. Furthermore, the authors propose some performance and evaluation criteria for haptic interfaces (especially for dexterous ones) and apply these to several examples.


  1. Bullock, I.M. et al.: Grasp Frequency and Usage in Daily Household and Machine Shop Tasks. In: IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013, DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2013.6
  2. Feix, T et al.: Comprehensive Grasp Taxonomy. In:  Robotics, Science and Systems Conference: Workshop on Understanding the Human Hand for Advancing Robotic Manipulation, 2009, available online, taxonomy website:
  3. Feix, T. & Bullock, I.M. et al.: Analysis of Human Grasping Behavior: Object Characteristics and Grasp Type. In: IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013, DOI: 10.1103/TOH.2014.2326871
  4. Feix, T. & Bullock, I.M. et al.: Analysis of Human Grasping Behavior: Correlating Tasks, Objects and Grasps. In: IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013, DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2014.2326867
  5. GRAB Lab, Yale University,
  6. Gonzales, F. et al.: Analysis of Hand Contact Areas and Interaction Capabilities During Manipulation and Exploration. In: IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2013, DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2014.2321395

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