GRIP: Manipulating a Weightless Object on the International Space Station

Event Date: October 24, 2019
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: POTR 234
Priority: No
School or Program: Electrical and Computer Engineering
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Jean-Louis Thonnard
Institute of NeuroScience
UCLouvain, Belgium
GRIP aims at studying dexterous object manipulation and, more specifically, the adaptation of the movement control mechanisms to zero gravity. Our investigations are focused on the control of movements of the upper limb, which covers various research fields including arm movement control, modulation of grasping forces and the biomechanical properties of the fingertip/object interface. The force of gravity is an omnipresent constraint on Earth that has major implications for movement control. Removing this constraint is a unique opportunity to reveal the nature of the processes controlling the movement. Previous results obtained in parabolic flights provide us with strong scientific background concerning arm/hand movement control and modulation of grip force. Besides, we also use robotic devices and platforms in normal gravity to assess precisely the influence of the type of constraint (rotational or tangential) on skin deformation and grip control. This project aims at making several steps further in investigating dexterous manipulation after long term exposure to microgravity in the International Space Station, skin deformation and grip control during active object manipulation and the role of haptic and visual feedback in motor control.
An explanatory video has been created for GRIP to popularize our project:

Prof. Thonnard (UCLouvain, Belgium) is an accomplished expert in the field of fingertip biomechanics and dexterous manipulation of objects. His main research interests are tactile spatial resolution and tactile roughness discrimination, mechanical properties of fingertip-object contact, dynamics of precision grip during object manipulation, dexterous manipulation in Microgravity. He is Professor at the Institute of Neuroscience of UCLouvain in Belgium. He has more than 130 refereed scientific papers (Total number of citations in June 2019: 5260; h-index: 40; Source: Google Scholar).

Prof. Hong Tan


2019-10-24 16:00:00 2019-10-24 17:00:00 America/New_York GRIP: Manipulating a Weightless Object on the International Space Station POTR 234