Study of Human Upper Arm Girth during Elbow Isokinetic Contractions Based on a Smart Circumferential Measuring System
As one of the convenient and noninvasive sensing approaches, the automatic limb girth measurement has been applied to detect intention behind human motion from muscle deformation. The sensing validity has been elaborated by preliminary researches but still need more fundamental study, especially on kinetic contraction modes. Based on the novel fabric strain sensors, a soft and smart limb girth measurement system was developed by the authors’ group, which can measure the limb girth in-motion. Experiments were carried out on elbow isometric flexion and elbow isokinetic flexion (biceps’ isokinetic contractions) of 90°/s, 60°/s, and 120°/s for 10 subjects (2 canoeists and 8 ordinary people). After removal of natural circumferential increments due to elbow position, the joint torque is found not uniformly sensitive to the limb circumferential strains, but declining as elbow joint angle rises, regardless of the angular speed. Moreover, the maximum joint torque was found as an exponential function of the joint’s angular speed. This research highly contributes to the application of the automatic limb girth measuring during kinetic contractions, and it is useful to predict the contraction level of voluntary skeletal muscles.