Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Ashish D. Nimbarte

Committee Member

Eduardo Sosa

Committee Member

Leily Farrokhvar


In this study, Fitts’ throughput was used to estimate throughput for metacarpal gloves. Fitts’ throughput combines speed and accuracy during target transfer/movement tasks into a single performance index. It was hypothesized that the throughput will be affected by the glove condition and it will exhibit a relationship with the physiological response of hand muscles and perceived exertions. Fifteen healthy participants (10 males, 5 females) were recruited for data collection. Each participant performed a series of target transfer tasks using four glove conditions: (1) a pigskin leather (glove 1); (2) a synthetic fiber glove (glove 2); (3) a goat-grain leather glove (glove 3); (4) bare hand. The physiological response of hand muscles was recorded during a separate gripping study. The participants performed 60-second static gripping tasks using each glove condition at force levels of 35% of their maximum gripping strength. Surface electromyography (SEMG) was used to record activation levels of four-hand muscles: (i) Flexor Digitorum Superficialis, (ii) Flexor Carpi Radialis, (iii) Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, and (iv) Extensor Digitorum. Glove condition had a significant effect on throughput (p<0.05). The highest throughput was observed for bare hand (3.17 bits/s), followed by Glove 3 (2.44 bits/s). High throughput signifies high accuracy and low task completion time. Glove 2 and Glove 1 had a similar throughput of 2.34 bits/s. The lowest muscle activation was observed for bare hand (51%), followed by glove 1 (59%), glove 2 (60%) and glove 3 (64%). A drop in the median frequency of SEMG data, which is an indication of muscle fatigue was significantly affected by the glove condition (p<0.05). The lowest drop was observed for bare hand (9%), followed by glove 2 (17%), glove 1 (18%) and glove 3 (23%). A similar trend was also observed for perceived exertions. Overall, the results of this study indicate that during gloved exertions, a direct relationship exists between throughput and the physiological response of hand muscles. The Fitts’ throughput holds the potential to be used as a performance measure to evaluate and compare different types of gloves.