Measurement of grip force is important for both exercise training and assessment of the hand during physical rehabilitation. The standard method uses a grip dynamometer which measures the force between the fingers and opposing thumb. The primary limitation of the grip dynamometer is the restriction of measurement to cylindrical grasps. Any deformation of the hand due to muscular or skeletal disease makes the grip dynamometer difficult or impossible to use. An alternative to the grip dynamometer is a sealed pneumatic object that can be gripped by the hand. Measurement of the internal pressure in the object can be related to the grip force. In this paper, we analyze such a pneumatic pressure sensing object for hand grip assessment and also describe an easy fabrication of the grip sensor. The instrumented object presented in this paper is designed to assess both the maximal voluntary grip forces and continuous grip force to monitor control of hand function during exercise under instruction from a therapist. Potential uses of such a pneumatic pressure sensing object for hand grip are in physical rehabilitation of patients following paralysing illnesses like stroke and spinal cord injury.
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