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Journal Article

Estimation of Mass and Inertia Properties of Human Body Segments for Physics-based Human Modeling and Simulation Applications

This paper describes an effective integrated method for estimation of subject-specific mass, inertia tensor, and center of mass of individual body segments of a digital avatar for use with physics-based digital human modeling simulation environment. One of the main goals of digital human modeling and simulation environments is that a user should be able to change the avatar (from male to female to a child) at any given time. The user should also be able to change the various link dimensions, like lengths of upper and lower arms, lengths of upper and lower legs, etc. These customizations in digital avatar's geometry change the kinematic and dynamic properties of various segments of its body. Hence, the mass and center of mass/inertia data of the segments must be updated before simulating physics-based realistic motions. Most of the current methods use mass and inertia properties calculated from a set of regression equations based on average of some population.
Technical Paper

A Validation Protocol for Predictive Human Locomotion

A framework to validate the predicted motion of a computer human model (Santos) is presented in this work. The proposed validation framework is a task-based methodology. It depends on the comparison of selected motion determinants and joint angles that play major roles in the task, using qualitative and quantitative statistical techniques. In the present work, the validation of Santos walking will be presented. Fortunately, the determinants for normal walking are well defined in the literature and can be represented by (i) hip flexion/extension, (ii) knee flexion/extension, (iii) ankle plantar/dorsiflexion, (iv) pelvic tilt, (v) pelvic rotation, and (vi) lateral pelvic displacement. While Santos is an ongoing research project, the results have shown significant qualitative agreements between the walking determinants of Santos and the walking determinants of four normal subjects.
Technical Paper

Dual-Arm Dynamic Motion Simulation and Prediction of Joint Constraint Loads Using Optimization

Our previous formulation for optimization-based dynamic motion simulation of a serial-link human upper body (from waist to right hand) is extended to predict the motion of a tree-structured human model that includes the torso, right arm, and left arm, with various applied external loads. The dynamics of tree-structured systems is formulated and implemented. The equations of motion for the tree structures must be derived carefully when dealing with the connection link. The optimum solution results show realistic dual-arm human motions and the required joint actuator torques. In the second part of this paper, a new method is introduced in which the constraint forces and moments at the joints are calculated along with the motion and muscle-induced actuator torques. A set of fictitious joints are modeled in addition to the real joints.
Technical Paper

New Capabilities for the Virtual-Human Santos™

This paper presents new capabilities of the virtual-human Santos™ introduced last year. Santos™ is an avatar that has extensive modeling and simulation features. It is a digital human model with over 100 degrees-of-freedom (DOF), where the hand model has 25 DOF, direct optimization-based method, and real-human like appearance. The newly developed analysis includes (1) a 25-DOF hand model that is the first step to study hand grasping; (2) posture prediction advances such as multiple end-effectors (two arms, two arms + head + legs), real-time inverse kinematics for posture prediction for any points, vision functionality; (3) dynamic motion prediction with external loads; and (4) musculosteletal modeling that includes determining muscle forces, and muscle stress.
Technical Paper

Effect of Restrictive Clothing on Balance and Gait using Motion Capture and Stability Analysis

The effect of restrictive clothing on functional reach and on balance and gait during obstacle crossing of five normal subjects is presented in this work using motion capture and stability analyses. The study has shown that restrictive clothing has considerably reduced participants' functional reach. It also forced the participants to change their motion strategy when they cross-higher obstacles. When crossing higher obstacles, the participants averted their stance foot, abducted their arms, flexed their torso, used longer stance time, and increased their hip angle in the medial-lateral (Rolling) and vertical (Yawing) directions. The stability analysis of a virtual human skeletal model with 18 links and 25 degrees of freedom has shown that participants' stability has become critical when they wear restrictive clothing and when they cross higher obstacles.
Technical Paper

Optimization-Based Dynamic Motion Simulation and Energy Expenditure Prediction for a Digital Human

This paper presents an optimization-based algorithm for simulating the dynamic motion of a digital human. We also formulate the metabolic energy expenditure during the motion, which is calculated within our algorithm. This algorithm is implemented and applied to Santos™, an avatar developed at The University of Iowa. Santos™ is a part of a virtual environment for conducting digital human analysis consisting of posture prediction, motion prediction, and physiology studies. This paper demonstrates our dynamic motion algorithm within the Santos™ virtual environment. Mathematical evaluations of human performance are essential to any effort to compare various ergonomic designs. In fact, the human factors design process can be formulated as an optimization problem that maximizes human performance. In particular, an optimal design must be found while taking into consideration the effects of different motions and hand loads corresponding to a number of tasks.
Technical Paper

SANTOS™ Hand: A 25 Degree-of-Freedom Model

This paper presents a SANTOS™ 25 degree-of-freedom (DOF) hand model and the forward and inverse kinematic analysis. The Denavit-Hartenberg (D-H) method is used to define the position of the end- effector (fingertip). In the SANTOS™ hand model each finger has different constraints and movements (e.g., the middle finger in distal Interphalangeal (DIP) joint can move in Flexion/Extension (F/E) with a range 0–100 degrees, and the thumb in interphalangeal (IP) joint can rotate in F/E with arrange of 15H/80). Including hand model SANTOS™ has over 100 DOFs and the forward and inverse kinematics have been studied. Optimization-based dynamic motion prediction will be used to consider different gestures for hand grasping.