Force approximation of the human hand in contact with a climbing wall handle

Grzegorz Orzechowski*, Perttu Hämäläinen, Aki Mikkola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper presents a new algorithm that approximates the forces that develop between a human hand and the handles of a climbing wall. A hand-to-handle model was developed using this algorithm for the Open Dynamics Engine physics solver, which can be plugged into a full-body climbing simulation to improve results. The model data are based on biomechanical measurements of the average population presented in previously published research. The main objective of this work was to identify maximum forces given hand orientation and force direction with respect to the climbing wall handles. Stated as a nonlinear programming problem, solution was achieved by applying a stochastic Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy (CMA-ES). The algorithm for force approximation works consistently and provides reasonable results when gravity is neglected. However, including gravity results in a number of issues. Since the weight of the hand is small in relation to the hand-to-handle forces, neglecting gravity does not significantly affect the reliability and quality of the solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalArchive of Mechanical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Contact dynamics
  • Hand-to-handle interaction
  • Quasi-static solution
  • Support force approximation
  • Wall climbing


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