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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

HAWK: Hand And Wrist Kinematics

Hollywood technology that maps movement is being used by Health Sciences researchers to unlock secrets of the human hand.

Optimising human performance
Optimising human performance

The new system, known as HAWK (Hand And Wrist Kinematics), was developed by Dr. Cheryl Metcalf to discover more about how a person's hand moves.

It uses state-of-the-art motion capture technology, and measures, very accurately, the movements of the wrists, hands, fingers and thumbs.

HAWK was originally developed by Dr. Metcalf to assess people regaining movement following a stroke, and has been applied to the assessing the effectiveness of treatments, such as splints, for restoring functional movement.

It has also been particularly helpful for pianists who want to analyse and improve their playing technique.

This has generated interest in other sectors.

For example, the versatility of HAWK has allowed Dr. Metcalf collaborate with Hocoma, who specialise in rehabilitation robotics and Roke Manor Research Limited, with markerless motion capture systems. The piano manufacturer Bluthner UK and Winchester School of Art have also emerged as collaborators.

To discover more about HAWK and how you could collaborate in the future development of this technology, contact Dr. Cheryl Metcalf at or on +44 (0)23 8059 8927

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What's related

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HAWK and pianist's sounds

Support for stroke patients

Dr.Metcalf's personal website

Human hand function is fascinating when you think of the variety of tasks we perform every day. However, measuring human hand function is complex given the many different ways we can complete a task. Using HAWK, we can understand this complexity.

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