Assessment of Astronaut Hand Function Using a Robotic Exoskeleton

Metadata Updated: May 2, 2019

An extended period of space exploration has deleterious effects on the neuromuscular system. Sensorimotor impairments can hinder an astronaut's performance by reducing coordination and inhibiting fine manual control of vehicles and devices. Although astronauts undergo Functional Task Testing (FTT), the current test for fine motor control (a pick-and-place peg test) does not quantitatively identify the underlying neuromuscular deficiencies that diminish the astronauts' hand function. Thus, a more sophisticated test is needed to precisely and systematically measure and assess hand function in astronauts.

I propose the development of a hand exoskeleton-based astronaut assessment. My plan is to prepare a hand exoskeleton for human subject studies, derive metrics that will objectively assess hand function, and introduce a novel hand assessment test with the exoskeleton. To prepare the hand exoskeleton, I will integrate surface electromyography (sEMG) to analyze muscle activations. I will then derive motor performance metrics based on position, force, and sEMG sensor data from the hand exoskeleton, normalize the metrics, and test the metrics for reliability. Lastly, I will determine the correlations between the hand exoskeleton metrics and standard therapist-administered assessment scales using a combination of regression analysis, artificial neural networks, and principal component analysis. I will use the results to propose a novel hand exoskeleton-based hand assessment test.

The hand exoskeleton assessment test will be used to analyze the sensorimotor degradation of hand performance resulting from prolonged visits to space. The device will quantitatively evaluate hand function, digitize astronaut performance data, and communicate the information to clinicians on earth. By assessing astronaut hand function in space, the hand exoskeleton will aid in recognizing the onset of abnormal hand performance. This will help ensure space mission safety during flight by determining astronauts' fitness-for-duty.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_91487
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Datagov Dedupe Retained 20190501230127
Harvest Object Id 854b4db4-fa6b-48d2-b132-e09c02663afb
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2019-08-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash ffdda7d40ecf056f3245f794fe917bcd546c3583
Source Schema Version 1.1

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