Biomechanics is the study of how our bodies – and all living organisms – work. It’s the foundation of humanoid robotics; to build a machine that mimics a human body, we have to know exactly how it works!

This biomechanics activity explores the ways our bones, muscles, and tendons enable our hands to move and bend in preparation to build a biomechanical hand!

There are four main parts of your hands:

  • Bones provide structure
  • Joints make bones flexible
  • Muscles allow the bones to move
  • Tendons connect the bones to the muscles

We’re talking mainly about bones, muscles, and tendons, in this video, but joints are pretty easy to identify too – they’re where two bones meet!

There’s a simple way to identify your tendons. Hold up your hand so that your palm is facing away from you. Bend your fingers backwards slightly, and you will see what look like strings on the back of your hands. These are your tendons! Tendons are attached to your muscles and run all the way down your arm. When you use them to move your fingers and squeeze them into a fist, you can see the tendons move the muscle on your arm as well.