Demonstrate and measure the forces at work inside the human arm

  • Students see what happens when they throw a ball.
  • See the interaction of the bicep and tricep muscles
  • Use probeware to measure the forces involved

The Teaching Challenge

It's no easy task to simulate the muscles and motion of an actual human arm. It is a structure with a f ull range of motion including throwing, curling and extension. Any potential lab simulation should be able to:

  • Capture muscle tension, shoulder and elbow joint movement data
  • Measure force and angle simultaneously
  • Link tricep and bicep muscle action to arm motion

FREE THROW - Measure the work done by the arm and the resulting kinetic energy delivered to the ball during a free throw.

The PASCO Solution

The Human Arm Model  can serve a myriad of functions:

Pull on a rope with a Force Sensor to activate arm motion, and measure both muscle tension and shoulder and elbow joint rotation. The Human Arm Model can perform many types of motion such as extending and lifting an object, curling, or throwing a ball overhand. Different arm muscles are activated depending on which pulleys are selected. Static force measurements can also be made to see how the muscle tension changes at various arm positions.

Solution at a Glance

Human Arm Model (PS-2611) 1
PASPORT Force Sensor (PS-2104) 2
Xplorer GLX (PS-2002) 1
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This solution also requires software and an interface or a standalone datalogger. For more information or to order products separately, see below.

Extension - This graph captures the sharp increase in the tension (force) of the bicep muscle as the arm is fully extended. The tricep muscle cord is pulled with a Force Sensor, while a second Force Sensor measures the tension on the bicep muscle cord.

CURL - As the bicep muscle cord is pulled a short distance, the end of the arm moves through a very large distance, showing the mechanical advantage of the arm. The load at the end of the arm can be varied.

How It Works

View this demonstration video of the Human Arm Model to see the set up and procedure.

VIEW: Video

Human Arm Model Video

Human Arm Model Video

Demonstration Video of the Human Arm Model

Ordering Products Separately

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Human Arm Model (PS-2611)

Mechanical model that simulates the muscles and motion of an actual human arm. To activate the motion students pull on the cord.

  • Arm
  • Angle Sensor
  • Removable Mass
  • Cord and Cord Locks
  • Mounting Bracket with Rod
  • Force Sensor Mounting Rod
  • Rubber Ball

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PASPORT Force Sensor (PS-2104)
2 required for this solution

Designed to measure both pulling and pushing forces. Uses range from collisions to tug-of-war. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

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Xplorer GLX (PS-2002)

The Xplorer GLX is a data collection, graphing, and analysis tool designed for science students and educators.

  • Two fast response, low thermal mass temperature probes.
  • Voltage probe.
  • Built-in sound sensor.
  • Built-in speaker.
  • Power adapter and battery charger.
  • USB "A" to USB "B" cable.
  • DataStudio Lite for use as a PASPORT interface to computer.
  • Users guide and tutorial CD.

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Other materials required to attach either to a table or surface :

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Large C Clamp (6 Pack) (SE-7285)

This rugged 10 cm clamp is perfect for attaching a variety of objects to a table. Package of 6.

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Software & Interface Options

This activity also requires software and an interface or a standalone datalogger.

Software options:

Interface options:

Standalone Options: