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Technical Paper

A Fuzzy Synthesis Control Strategy for Active Four-Wheel Steering Based on Multi-Body Models

Active steering systems can help the driver to master critical driving situations. This paper presents a fuzzy logic control strategy on active steering vehicle based on a multi-body vehicle dynamic model. The multi-body vehicle dynamic model using ADAMS can accurately predict the dynamic performance of the vehicle. A new hybrid steering scheme including both active front steering (applying an additional front steering angle besides the driver input) and rear steering is presented to control both yaw velocity and sideslip angle. A set of fuzzy logic rules is designed for the active steering controller, and the fuzzy controller can adjust both sideslip angle and yaw velocity through the co-simulation between ADAMS and the Matlab fuzzy control unit with the optimized membership function. To ensure the design of high-quality fuzzy control rules, a rule optimization strategy is introduced.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Optimization of Human Stair-Climbing Motion

The objective of this paper is to present our method of predicting and simulating visually realistic and dynamically consistent human stair-climbing motion. The digital human is modeled as a 55-degrees of freedom branched mechanical system with associated human anthropometry-based link lengths, mass moments of inertia, and centers of gravity. The joint angle profiles are determined using a B-spline-based parametric optimization technique subject to different physics-based, task-based, and environment-based constraints. The formulation offers the ability to study effects of the magnitude and location of external forces on the resulting joint angle profiles and joint torque profiles. Several virtual experiments are conducted using this optimization-based approach and results are presented.
Technical Paper

Reliability Based Design Optimization with Correlated Input Variables

Reliability-based design optimization (RBDO), which includes design optimization in design space and inverse reliability analysis in standard normal space, has been recently developed under the assumption that all input variables are independent because it is difficult to construct a joint probability distribution function (PDF) of input variables with limited data such as the marginal PDF and covariance matrix. However, since in real applications, it is common that some of the input variables are correlated, the RBDO results might contain a significant error if the correlation between input variables for RBDO is not considered. In this paper, Rosenblatt and Nataf transformations, which are the most representative transformation methods and have been widely used in the reliability analysis, have been studied and compared in terms of applicability to RBDO with correlated input variables.
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

A Robust Formulation for Prediction of Human Running

A method to simulate digital human running using an optimization-based approach is presented. The digital human is considered as a mechanical system that includes link lengths, mass moments of inertia, joint torques, and external forces. The problem is formulated as an optimization problem to determine the joint angle profiles. The kinematics analysis of the model is carried out using the Denavit-Hartenberg method. The B-spline approximation is used for discretization of the joint angle profiles, and the recursive formulation is used for the dynamic equilibrium analysis. The equations of motion thus obtained are treated as equality constraints in the optimization process. With this formulation, a method for the integration of constrained equations of motion is not required. This is a unique feature of the present formulation and has advantages for the numerical solution process.
Technical Paper

Application of Reliability-Based Design Optimization to Durability of Military Vehicles

In the Army mechanical fatigue subject to external and inertia transient loads in the service life of mechanical systems often leads to a structural failure due to accumulated damage. Structural durability analysis that predicts the fatigue life of mechanical components subject to dynamic stresses and strains is a compute intensive multidisciplinary simulation process, since it requires the integration of several computer-aided engineering tools and considerable data communication and computation. Uncertainties in geometric dimensions due to manufacturing tolerances cause the indeterministic nature of the fatigue life of a mechanical component.
Technical Paper

Virtual Environment for Digital Human Simulation

A general methodology and associated computational algorithm for predicting realistic postures of digital humans (mannequins) in a virtual environment is presented. The basic plot for this effort is a task-based approach, where we believe that humans assume different postures for different tasks. The underlying problem is characterized by the calculation (or prediction) of the joint displacements of the human body in such a way to accomplish a specified task. In this work, we have not limited the number of degrees of freedom associated with the model. Each task has been defined by a number of human performance measures that are mathematically represented by cost functions that evaluate to a real number. Cost functions are then optimized, i.e., minimized or maximized subject to a number of constraints. The problem is formulated as a multi-objective optimization algorithm where one or more cost functions are considered as objective functions that drive the model to a solution.
Technical Paper

An Optimization-Based Methodology to Predict Digital Human Gait Motion

New methods for fast, adaptive motion prediction of a virtual human are proposed and tested. An optimal locomotion for gait-driven motions like pushing, climbing and pick-up/delivery are sought through gradient-based optimization and inverse-dynamics. Such gait-driven motion can be produced by adapting the normal gait motion to the case when a characteristic force is applied, which is called an applied force. The applied force is a resistance force for pushing case and an object weight for delivery case. The concept of the zero moment point is modified to assess the dynamic equilibrium of the motion in presence of the applied force. For fast calculation, analytical forms of the cost/constraint gradients are provided. Stepping patterns are specified a priori to ensure the continuity of the cost/constraint function gradients. Also, by varying knots for the B-spline curve approximation, the gait stage durations are optimized.
Technical Paper

Alternative Formulations for Optimization-based-Digital Human Motion Prediction

Simulating human motion is a complex problem due to redundancy of the human musculoskeletal system. The concept of task-based motion prediction using single- or multi-objective optimization techniques provides a viable approach for predicting intermediate motions of digital humans. It is shown that task-based motion prediction is in fact a numerical optimal control problem. Alternative formulations for simulation of human motion are possible and can be solved by modern nonlinear optimization methods. Three techniques based on state variable elimination, direct collocation and differential inclusion are presented and compared. The basic idea of the formulations is to treat different combinations of the state variables, such as the joint profiles and torques or their parametric representations as independent variables in the optimization process.
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.
Journal Article

General Biped Motion and Balance of a Human Model

We propose an algorithm of predicting dynamic biped motions of Santos™ human model. An alternative and efficient formulation of the Zero-Moment Point (ZMP) for dynamic balance and the approximated ground reaction forces/moments are derived from the resultant reaction loads, which includes the gravity, the externally applied loads, and the inertia. The optimization problem is formulated to address the redundancy of the human task, where the general biped and the task-specific constraints are imposed depending on the task requirements. The proposed method is fully predictive and generates physically feasible human-like motions from scratch without any input reference from motion capture or animation. The resulting generated motions demonstrate how a human reacts effectively to different external load conditions in performing a given task by showing realistic features of cause and effect.