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Technical Paper

Understanding Work Task Assessment Sensitivity to the Prediction of Standing Location

Digital human models (DHM) are now widely used to assess worker tasks as part of manufacturing simulation. With current DHM software, the simulation engineer or ergonomist usually makes a manual estimate of the likely worker standing location with respect to the work task. In a small number of cases, the worker standing location is determined through physical testing with one or a few workers. Motion capture technology is sometimes used to aid in quantitative analysis of the resulting posture. Previous research has demonstrated the sensitivity of work task assessment using DHM to the accuracy of the posture prediction. This paper expands on that work by demonstrating the need for a method and model to accurately predict worker standing location. The effect of standing location on work task posture and the resulting assessment is documented through three case studies using the Siemens Jack DHM software.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Muscle Activation on Knee, Thigh, and Hip Injuries in Frontal Crashes Using a Finite-Element Model with Muscle Forces from Subject Testing and Musculoskeletal Modeling

In a previous study, the authors reported on the development of a finite-element model of the midsize male pelvis and lower extremities with lower-extremity musculature that was validated using PMHS knee-impact response data. Knee-impact simulations with this model were performed using forces from four muscles in the lower extremities associated with two-foot bracing reported in the literature to provide preliminary estimates of the effects of lower-extremity muscle activation on knee-thigh-hip injury potential in frontal impacts. The current study addresses a major limitation of these preliminary simulations by using the AnyBody three-dimensional musculoskeletal model to estimate muscle forces produced in 35 muscles in each lower extremity during emergency one-foot braking.
Technical Paper

Validation of the Human Motion Simulation Framework: Posture Prediction for Standing Object Transfer Tasks

The Human Motion Simulation Framework is a hierarchical set of algorithms for physical task simulation and analysis. The Framework is capable of simulating a wide range of tasks, including standing and seated reaches, walking and carrying objects, and vehicle ingress and egress. In this paper, model predictions for the terminal postures of standing object transfer tasks are compared to data from 20 subjects with a wide range of body dimensions. Whole body postures were recorded using optical motion capture for one-handed and two-handed object transfers to target destinations at three angles from straight ahead and three heights. The hand and foot locations from the data were input to the HUMOSIM Framework Reference Implementation (HFRI) in the Jack human modeling software. The whole-body postures predicted by the HFRI were compared to the measured postures using a set of measures selected for their importance to ergonomic analysis.
Technical Paper

Modeling Ascending and Descending Stairs Using the Human Motion Simulation Framework

The Human Motion Simulation Framework (Framework) is a hierarchical set of algorithms for predicting and analyzing task-oriented human motion. The Framework was developed to improve the performance of commercial human modeling software by increasing the accuracy of predicted motions and the speed of generating simulations. This paper presents the addition of stair ascending and descending to the Transition Stepping and Timing (Transit) model, a component of the Framework that predicts gait and acyclic stepping.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Model of Gait and Transition Stepping for Simulation of Industrial Workcell Tasks

Industrial tasks performed by standing workers are among those most commonly simulated using digital human models. Workers often walk, turn, and take acyclic steps as they perform these tasks. Current h uman modeling tools lack the capability to simulate these whole body motions accurately. Most models simulate walking by replaying joint angle trajectories corresponding to a general gait pattern. Turning is simulated poorly if at all, and violations of kinematic constraints between the feet and ground are common. Moreover, current models do not accurately predict foot placement with respect to loads and other hand targets, diminishing the utility of the associated ergonomic analyses. A new approach to simulating stepping and walking in task-oriented activities is proposed. Foot placements and motions are predicted from operator and task characteristics using empirical models derived from laboratory data and validated using field data from an auto assembly plant.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Importance of Motion Dynamics for Ergonomic Analysis of Manual Materials Handling Tasks using the AnyBody Modeling System

Most current applications of digital human figure models for ergonomic assessments of manual tasks focus on the analysis of a static posture. Tools available for static analysis include joint-specific strength, calculation of joint moments, balance maintenance capability, and low-back compression or shear force estimates. Yet, for many tasks, the inertial loads due to acceleration of body segments or external objects may contribute significantly to internal body forces and tissue stresses. Due to the complexity of incorporating the dynamics of motion into analysis, most commercial software packages used for ergonomic assessment do not have the capacity to include dynamic effects. Thus, commercial human modeling packages rarely provide an opportunity for the user to determine if a static analysis is sufficient.
Technical Paper

The HUMOSIM Ergonomics Framework: A New Approach to Digital Human Simulation for Ergonomic Analysis

The potential of digital human modeling to improve the design of products and workspaces has been limited by the time-consuming manual manipulation of figures that is required to perform simulations. Moreover, the inaccuracies in posture and motion that result from manual procedures compromise the fidelity of the resulting analyses. This paper presents a new approach to the control of human figure models and the analysis of simulated tasks. The new methods are embodied in an algorithmic framework developed in the Human Motion Simulation (HUMOSIM) laboratory at the University of Michigan. The framework consists of an interconnected, hierarchical set of posture and motion modules that control aspects of human behavior, such as gaze or upper-extremity motion. Analysis modules, addressing issues such as shoulder stress and balance, are integrated into the framework.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Validity of Kinematically Generated Reach Envelopes for Simulations of Vehicle Operators

Assessments of reach capability using human figure models are commonly performed by exercising each joint of a kinematic chain, terminating in the hand, through the associated ranges of motion. The result is a reach envelope determined entirely by the segment lengths, joint degrees of freedom, and joint ranges of motion. In this paper, the validity of this approach is assessed by comparing the reach envelopes obtained by this method to those obtained in a laboratory study of men and women. Figures were created in the Jack human modeling software to represent the kinematic linkages of participants in the laboratory study. Maximum reach was predicted using the software's kinematic reach-envelope generation methods and by interactive manipulation. Predictions were compared to maximum reach envelopes obtained experimentally. The findings indicate that several changes to the normal procedures for obtaining maximum reach envelopes for seated tasks are needed.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Modeling Driver Reach

The reach capability of drivers is currently represented in vehicle design practice in two ways. The SAE Recommended Practice J287 presents maximum reach capability surfaces for selected percentiles of a generic driving population. Driver reach is also simulated using digital human figure models. In typical applications, a family of figure models that span a large range of the target driver population with respect to body dimensions is positioned within a digital mockup of the driver's workstation. The articulated segments of the figure model are exercised to simulate reaching motions and driver capabilities are calculated from the constraints of the kinematic model. Both of these current methods for representing driver reach are substantially limited. The J287 surfaces are not configurable for population characteristics, do not provide the user with the ability to adjust accommodation percentiles, and do not provide any guidance on the difficulty of reaches that are attainable.
Technical Paper

An Improved Seating Accommodation Model with Application to Different User Populations

A new approach to driver seat-position modeling is presented. The equations of the Seating Accommodation Model (SAM) separately predict parameters of the distributions of male and female fore/aft seat position in a given vehicle. These distributions are used together to predict specific percentiles of the combined male-and-female seat-position distribution. The effects of vehicle parameters-seat height, steering-wheel-to-accelerator pedal distance, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type-are reflected in the prediction of mean seat position. The mean and standard deviation of driver population stature are included in the prediction for the mean and standard deviation of the seat-position distribution, respectively. SAM represents a new, more flexible approach to predicting fore/aft seat-position distributions for any driver population in passenger vehicles. Model performance is good, even at percentiles in the tails of the distribution.