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Technical Paper

Digital Human Modeling Goals and Strategic Plans

2008-06-17
2008-01-1933
Digital human modeling (DHM) progress worldwide will be much faster and cohesive if the diverse community now developing simulations has a global blueprint for DHM, and is able to work together efficiently. DHM developers and users can save time by building on each other's work. This paper highlights a panel discussion on DHM goals and strategic plans for the next decade to begin formulating the international blueprint. Four subjects are chosen as the starting points: (1) moving DHM into the public safety and internet arenas, (2) role of DHM in computer assisted surgery and automotive safety, (3) DHM in defense applications, and (4) DHM to improve workplace ergonomics.
Journal Article

Postural Behaviors during One-Hand Force Exertions

2008-06-17
2008-01-1915
Posture and external loads such as hand forces have a dominant effect on ergonomic analysis outcomes. Yet, current digital human modeling tools used for proactive ergonomics analysis lack validated models for predicting postures for standing hand-force exertions. To address this need, the effects of hand magnitude and direction on whole-body posture for standing static hand-force exertion tasks were quantified in a motion-capture study of 19 men and women with widely varying body size. The objective of this work was to identify postural behaviors that might be incorporated into a posture-prediction algorithm for standing hand-force tasks. Analysis of one-handed exertions indicates that, when possible, people tend to align their bodies with the direction of force application, converting potential cross-body exertions into sagittal plane exertions. With respect to the hand-force plane, pelvis position is consistent with a postural objective of reducing rotational trunk torques.
Technical Paper

Predicting Force-Exertion Postures from Task Variables

2007-06-12
2007-01-2480
Accurate representation of working postures is critical for ergonomic assessments with digital human models because posture has a dominant effect on analysis outcomes. Most current digital human modeling tools require manual manipulation of the digital human to simulate force-exertion postures or rely on optimization procedures that have not been validated. Automated posture prediction based on human data would improve the accuracy and repeatability of analyses. The effects of hand force location, magnitude, and direction on whole-body posture for standing tasks were quantified in a motion-capture study of 20 men and women with widely varying body size. A statistical analysis demonstrated that postural variables critical for the assessment of body loads can be predicted from the characteristics of the worker and task.
Technical Paper

A Task-Based Stepping Behavior Model for Digital Human Models

2006-07-04
2006-01-2364
Cyclical stepping (gait) has been studied extensively. Some of these results are reflected in the straight and curved path step-following algorithms in commercial digital human modeling (DHM) implementations. With the aid of these algorithms, DHM users define start, intermediate, and end path points and the software generates a walking-like motion along the path. Most of these algorithms have substantial limitations, among them that the figures exhibit “foot skate,” meaning that the kinematic constraint of foot contact with the ground is not respected. Turning is accomplished by pivoting the entire figure, rather than through realistic lower-extremity motions. The simulation of the non-cyclical stepping motions accompanying manual material handling pickup and delivery tasks requires manual manikin manipulation. This paper proposes a paradigm for the simulation of stepping behavior in digital human models based on a model of foot placements and motions.
Technical Paper

Predicting Foot Positions for Manual Materials Handling Tasks

2005-06-14
2005-01-2681
For many industrial tasks (push, pull, lift, carry, etc.), restrictions on grip locations and visibility constrain the hand and head positions and help to define feasible postures. In contrast, foot locations are often minimally constrained and an ergonomics analyst can choose several different stances in selecting a posture to analyze. Also, because stance can be a critical determinant of a biomechanical assessment of the work posture, the lack of a valid method for placing the feet of a manikin with respect to the task compromises the accuracy of the analysis. To address this issue, foot locations and orientations were captured in a laboratory study of sagittal plane and asymmetric manual load transfers. A pilot study with four volunteers of varying anthropometry approached a load located on one of three shelves and transferred the load to one of six shelves.
Technical Paper

Balance Maintenance during Seated Reaches of People with Spinal Cord Injury

2004-06-15
2004-01-2138
In many task analyses using digital human figure models, only the terminal or apparently most stressful posture is analyzed. For reaches from a seated position, this is generally the posture with the hand or hands at the target. However, depending on the characteristics of the tasks and the people performing them, analyzing only the terminal posture could be misleading. This possibility was examined using data from a study of the reaching behavior of people with spinal cord injury. Participants performed two-handed forward reaching tasks. These reaches were to three targets located in the sagittal plane. The terminal postures did not differ significantly between those with spinal cord injury and those without. However, motion analysis demonstrated that they employed distinct strategies, particularly in the initial phase of motion.
Technical Paper

Evaluating the Effect of Back Injury on Shoulder Loading and Effort Perception in Hand Transfer Tasks

2004-06-15
2004-01-2137
Occupational populations have become increasingly diverse, requiring novel accommodation technologies for inclusive design. Hence, further attention is required to identify potential differences in work perception between workers with varying physical limitations. The major aim of this study was to identify differences in shoulder loading and perception of effort between a control population (C) and populations affected by chronic back pain (LBP) and spinal cord injury (SCI) in one-handed seated transfer tasks to targets. The effects of the injuries, and associated pain, are likely to produce variations in movement patterns, muscle loading and perceived effort.
Technical Paper

Exertion-Driven Strength Modeling of the Shoulder

2001-06-26
2001-01-2098
This study begins the exploration of the relationship between shoulder external moments and perceived exertion levels for submaximal delivery tasks. Twenty subjects were recorded while performing hand load movement tasks to specified targets. After each exertion, subjects were asked to rate the effort required to perform the task. The recorded motion profiles were processed using a biomechanical upper extremity model, from which resultant external shoulder moments were calculated. Average resultant shoulder moments, stratified by exertion level, were also calculated. Several individual subject moment/exertion profiles showed identifiable trends. It was demonstrated that while no strong relationships exist for individual task exertion effort prediction based on resultant shoulder moments, there is a general trend in the overall data sample, as is shown by a high correlation between mean integrated resultant shoulder moment by exertion level and exertion levels.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Effort Perception in Lifting and Reaching Tasks

2001-06-26
2001-01-2120
Although biomechanics models can predict the stress on the musculoskeletal system, they cannot predict how the muscle load associated with exertion is perceived. The short-term goal of the present study was to model the perception of effort in lifting and reaching tasks. The long-term goal is to determine the correlation between objective and subjective measures of effort and use this information to predict fatigue or the risk of injury. Lifting and reaching tasks were performed in seated and standing situations. A cylindrical object and a box were moved with one hand and two hands, respectively, from a home location to shelves distributed in the space around the subject. The shoulder and torso effort required to perform these tasks were rated on a ten point visual analog scale.
Technical Paper

Modifying Motions for Avoiding Obstacles

2001-06-26
2001-01-2112
Interference between physical objects in the workspace and the moving human body may cause serious problems, including errors in manual operation, physical damage and trauma from the collision, and increased biomechanical stresses due to movement reorganization for avoiding the obstacles. Therefore, a computer algorithm to detect possible collisions and simulate human motions to avoid obstacles will be an important tool for computer-aided ergonomics and optimization of system design in the early stage of a design process. In the present study, we present a method of modifying motions for obstacle avoidance when the object intrudes near the center of the planned motion. We take the motion modification approach, as we believe that for a certain class of obstacle avoidance problems, a person would modify a pre-planned motion that would result in a collision to a new one that is collision-free, as opposed to organizing a totally unique motion pattern.
Technical Paper

Simulating Reach Motions

1999-05-18
1999-01-1916
Modeling normal human reach behavior is dependent on many factors. Anthropometry, age, gender, joint mobility and muscle strength are a few such factors related to the individual being modeled. Reach locations, seat configurations, and tool weights are a few other task factors that can affect dynamic reach postures. This paper describes how two different modeling approaches are being used in the University of Michigan Human Motion Simulation Laboratory to predict normal seated reaching motions. One type of model uses an inverse kinematic structure with an optimization procedure that minimizes the weighted sum of the instantaneous velocity of each body segment. The second model employs a new functional regression technique to fit polynomial equations to the angular displacements of each body segment. To develop and validate these models, 38 subjects of widely varying age and anthropometry were asked to perform reaching motions while seated in simulated vehicle or industrial workplace.
Technical Paper

Ergonomic Problems and Improvements in Automobile Assembly Operations

1984-02-01
840038
Workers who must perform manual operations with the hands above shoulder level have increased risk of developing painful disorders of the neck and shoulder. This is a special problem in automobile assembly because of the trend toward unit body construction. Parts that operators formerly attached to a frame must now be assembled to the underbody structure. Using a special conveyor system to tilt the vehicle has been considered as a way to minimize musculoskeletal stress. Experimental trials of chassis assembly operations using a 30 degree tilt are described here. Tilting was not effective in reducing stress of overhead work. The 30 degree angle was insufficient to significantly reduce work height, and tilting frequently obscured, rather than improved, visibility. In order for tilting to be effective, it appears that a full 90 degree rotation is required, and the vehicle needs to be designed to take advantage of body tilting.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Properties of the Human Neck in Lateral Flexion

1975-02-01
751156
Properties of the human neck which may influence a person's susceptibility to “whiplash” injury during lateral impact have been studied in 96 normal subjects. Subjects were chosen on the basis of age, sex, and stature and data were grouped into six primary categories based on sex (F, M) and age (18-24, 35-44, 62-74). The data include: measures of head, neck and body anthropometry in standing and simulated automotive seating positions, three-dimensional range of motion of the head and neck, head/neck response to low-level acceleration, and both stretch reflex time and voluntary isometric muscle force in the lateral direction. Reflex times are found to vary from about 30 to 70 ms with young and middle aged persons having faster times than older persons, and females having faster times than males. Muscle strength decreases with age and males are, on the average, stronger than females.
Technical Paper

Cervical Range of Motion and Dynamic Response and Strength of Cervical Muscles

1973-02-01
730975
Basic physical characteristics of the neck have been defined which have application to the design of biomechanical models, anthropometric dummies, and occupant crash protection devices. The study was performed using a group of 180 volunteers chosen on the basis of sex, age (18-74 years), and stature. Measurements from each subject included anthropometry, cervical range-of-motion (observed with both x-rays and photographs), the dynamic response of the cervical flexor and extensor muscles to a controlled jerk, and the maximum voluntary strength of the cervical muscles. Data are presented in tabular and graphic form for total range-of-motion, cervical muscle reflex time, decelerations of the head, muscle activation time, and cervical muscle strength. The range-of-motion of females was found to average 1-12 deg greater than that of males, depending upon age, and a definite degradation in range-of-motion was observed with increasing age.
Technical Paper

A Prediction Model of Human Torso Volitional Mobility

1972-02-01
720002
Empirical models are presented which predict the threespace position of the torso when responding to reaches with the right arm. Models were derived which specify torso position in terms of the spacial location of 10 surface markers. These markers were positioned over palpable skeletal points of the spine and shoulder girdle. The necessary data were obtained through photogrammetric procedures utilizing four orthogonal cameras. The independent (input) variables to these models are the coordinates of the reach target. A supplementary, slightly more accurate, set of models was also derived in which the set of independent variables was enlarged to include the anthropometric dimensions of the subject. The second, concurrent phase of the analysis resulted in the derivation of a set of models which describes the configuration of the internal, torso skeletal system.
Technical Paper

Joint Range of Motion and Mobility of the Human Torso

1971-02-01
710848
The object of this study has been to develop a quantitative description of the mobility of the human torso, including the shoulder girdle, neck, thoracic and lumbar vertebral column, and pelvis. This has been accomplished by a systematic multidisciplinary investigation involving techniques of cadaver dissection and measurement, utilizing cineradiofluoroscopy for joint center of rotation location, anthropometry, radiography, and photogrammetry for selected positions and motions of living subjects, and computer analysis. Positional and dimensional data were obtained for 72 anthropometric dimensions on 28 living male subjects statistically representative of the 1967 USAF anthropometric survey of 3542 rated officers, including bone lengths of the extremities and vertebral landmarks. Normal excursion of these limbs was measured in the living, utilizing the landmarks established in initial cadaver dissection.
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