A novel technique for prediction of optimal movements of the human upper limb is presented in this work. The method is adapted from robotics and uses a model of the upper limb as a manipulator of seven degrees of freedom, in order to describe its kinematics. The redundancy of the model can be exploited in order to find optimal trajectories for the upper limb, using the manipulability ratio as the performance criterion. The accepted assumptions of straight line movement of the hand and a bell-shaped velocity profile for the limb segments are used. The trajectories predicted by this technique are compared with experimental results of actual movements. The presented method is an alternative to statistical methods for computation of optimal trajectories for several experimental scenarios: clinical studies, ergonomics or sports. In this sense, the proposed technique is an effort to obtain optimal upper limb trajectories in a fully objective way.

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