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Technical Paper

Towards Understanding the Workspace of the Upper Extremities

2001-06-26
2001-01-2095
Significant attention in recent years has been given towards obtaining a better understanding of human joint ranges, measurement, and functionality, especially in conjunction with commands issued by the central nervous system. Studies of those commands often include computer algorithms to describe path trajectories. These are typically in “open-form” with specific descriptions of motions, but not “closed form” mathematical solutions of the full range of possibilities. This paper proposes a rigorous “closed form” kinematic formulation to model human limbs, understand their workspace (also called the reach envelope), and delineate barriers therein where a path becomes difficult or impossible owing to physical constraints. The novel ability to visualize barriers in the workspace emphasizes the power of these closed form equations.
Technical Paper

Synthesis and Analysis of the Double-Axle Steering Mechanism Considering Dynamic Loads

2008-04-14
2008-01-1105
This paper investigates a hierarchical optimization procedure for the optimum synthesis of a double-axle steering mechanism by considering the dynamic load of a vehicle which is seldom discussed in the previous literature. Firstly, a multi-body model of double-axle steering is presented by characterizing the detailed leaf spring effect. Accordingly, the influences of dynamic load including the motion interference of steering linkage resulted from the elastic deformation of leaf spring, and the effects of wheel slip angle and the position discrepancy of wheel speed rotation centers are explored systematically. And then, a hierarchical optimization method based on target cascading methodology is proposed to classify the design variables of double-axle steering mechanism into four levels. At last, a double-axle steering mechanism of a heavy-duty truck is utilized to demonstrate the validity of this method.
Technical Paper

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

2008-04-14
2008-01-0603
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

Development of a Zone Differentiation Tool for Visualization of Postural Comfort

2008-04-14
2008-01-0772
Over the past several years, significant advances have been made in the area of posture prediction. However, to make simulations more useful for vehicle design, additional unique tools are needed. This research focuses on the development of one such tool, called zone differentiation. This new tool allows user to visualize not only the complete reach envelope but also the interior comfort levels of the envelope. It uses a color map to display the relative values of various performance measures (i.e. comfort) at points surrounding an avatar. This is done by leveraging an optimization-based approach to posture prediction. Using this tool, a vehicle designer can visually display the impact that the placement of a control (switch, button, etc.) has on a driver's postural comfort. The comfort values are displayed in a manner similar to how a finite element analysis (FEA) programs display stress and strain results. The development of this tool requires two main components.
Technical Paper

On the Determination of Joint Motion Coupling for the Human Shoulder Complex

2008-06-17
2008-01-1870
This paper presents a novel approach to determining the joint motion coupling relationship for the human shoulder complex. The human shoulder complex is the most sophisticated part in terms of degrees of freedom and motion. In the literature, different human shoulder biomechanical models have been developed for various purposes. Also, researchers have realized that there are constant movement relationships among the shoulder bones: the clavicle, scapula, and humerus. This is due to muscles and tendons that are involved in skeletal motions. These relationships, which are also called shoulder rhythm, entail joint motion coupling and joint limit coupling. However, the scope of this work is to determine the joint motion coupling relationship. This relationship is available in the literature, but it is an Euler-angle-based relationship. In the virtual human modeling environment, we cannot directly use this Euler-angle-based relationship.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Optimization of Human Stair-Climbing Motion

2008-06-17
2008-01-1931
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

Optimization-based Dynamic Human Lifting Prediction

2008-06-17
2008-01-1930
In this study, an optimization-based approach for simulating the lifting motion of a three dimensional digital human model is presented. Lifting motion is generated by minimizing a performance measure subjected to basic physical and kinematical constraints. Two performance measures are investigated: one is the dynamic effort; the other is the compression and shear forces on the lumbar joint. The lifting strategies are predicted with different performance measures. The joint strength (torque limit) and the compression and shear force on lumbar joint are also addressed in this study to avoid injury during lifting motion.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity Analysis of Achieving a Reach Task within a Vehicle Considering Joint Angle Variability

2012-04-16
2012-01-0058
Human body size, shape, stature, joint range of motion, joint strength, and other factors vary from one person to another. Even for a single person, anthropometric data, such as weights and joint strengths, change with time. Due to this variability, different people adapt different postures to perform the same reach task within a vehicle. Even for the same person and reach task, postures will vary with time. Therefore, it is important to consider the reliability of achieving a reach task within a vehicle to create a better design for vehicle controls, enhance driver safety, and increase the level of accommodation for all types of drivers. In this study, we will present a reliability/probability approach to gain insights into driver reach tasks with uncertainty. Sensitivity levels are found to determine the importance of each joint to the reach tasks. A digital human upper body model with 21 degrees of freedom (DOFs) is introduced to demonstrate the probability approach.
Technical Paper

Posture Prediction and Force/Torque Analysis for Human Hands

2006-07-04
2006-01-2326
Human hands are the bridge between humans and the objects to be manipulated or grasped both in the real and virtual world. Hands are used to grasp or manipulate objects and one of the most important functionalities is to position the fingers, i.e., given the position of the fingertip and to determine the joint angles. Last year we presented a 25-degree of freedom (DOF) hand model that has palm arch functionality. In this paper we preset an optimization-based inverse kinematics approach to position this 25 DOF hand locally with respect to the wrist instead of the traditional Moore-Penrose pseudo-inverse and experiment methods. The hypothesis is that human performance measures govern the configuration and motion of the hand. We also propose contact force and joint torque prediction.
Technical Paper

Optimization-Based Workspace Zone Differentiation and Visualization for Santos™

2006-04-03
2006-01-0696
Human performance measures such as discomfort and joint displacement play an important role in product design. The virtual human Santos™, a new generation of virtual humans developed at the University of Iowa, goes directly to the CAD model to evaluate a design, saving time and money. This paper presents an optimization-based workspace zone differentiation and visualization. Around the workspace of virtual humans, a volume is discretized to small zones and the posture prediction on each central point of the zone will determine whether the points are outside the workspace as well as the values of different objective functions. Visualization of zone differentiation is accomplished by showing different colors based on values of human performance measures on points that are located inside the workspace. The proposed method can subsequently help ergonomic design.
Technical Paper

Newly Developed Functionalities for the Virtual Human Santos

2007-04-16
2007-01-0465
This paper presents newly developed capabilities for the virtual human Santos™. Santos is an avatar that has extensive modeling and simulation features. It is a digital human with 109 degrees of freedom (DOF), an optimization-based method, predictive dynamics, and realistic human appearance. The new capabilities include (1) significant progress in predictive dynamics (walking and running), (2) advanced clothing modeling and simulation, (3) muscle wrapping and sliding, and (4) hand biomechanics. With these newly developed functionalities, Santos can simulate various dynamic tasks such as walking and running, investigate clothing restrictions to motion such as joint limits and torques, simulate the musculoskeletal system in real time, predict hand injury by monitoring the joint torques, and facilitate vehicle interior design. Finally, additional on-going projects are summarized.
Technical Paper

Enhanced Fuzzy Sliding Mode Controller for Automated Clutch of AMT Vehicle

2006-04-03
2006-01-1488
Due to the influence of non-linear dynamic characteristic of clutch, time-delays, external disturbance and parameter uncertainty, it is difficult to control the automated clutch precisely during the engaging process of the automated clutch for automatic mechanical transmission (AMT) vehicles. Here, an enhanced fuzzy sliding mode controller (EFSMC) has been proposed to control the automated clutch. To meet the real-time requirement of the automated clutch, the region-wise linear technology is adapted to reduce the fuzzy rules of the EFSMC. The simulation results have shown that the proposed controller can achieve a higher performance with minimum reaching time and smooth control actions. In addition, it shows that the controller is effective and robust to the parametric variation and external disturbance.
Technical Paper

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

2007-06-12
2007-01-2491
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

2007-06-12
2007-01-2490
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

Validation Methodology Development for Predicted Posture

2007-06-12
2007-01-2467
As predictive capabilities advance and human-model fidelity increases, so must validation of such predictions and models. However, subjective validation is sufficient only as an initial indicator; thorough, systematic studies must be conducted as well. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to validate postures that are determined using single-objective optimization (SOO) and multi-objective optimization (MOO), as applied to the virtual human Santos™. In addition, a general methodology and tools for posture-prediction validation are presented. We find that using MOO provides improvement over SOO, and the results are realistic from both a subjective and objective perspective.
Technical Paper

Restrained and Unrestrained Driver Reach Barriers

2004-06-15
2004-01-2199
Design and packaging of automotive interiors and airplane cockpits has become a science in itself, particularly in recent years where safety is paramount. There are various methods for restraining operators in their seats, including fitting an operator, such as a race car driver or pilot, with two seat belts, one for each side of the body, a three point restraining system as in commercial vehicles, and a lap belt as in some trucks and other types of vehicles. Moreover, significant experimental efforts have been made to study driver reach and barriers since they directly affect performance and safety. This paper presents a rigorous formulation for addressing the reach envelope and barriers therein of a 3-point restrained driver compared with a lap-belt-restrained driver. The formulation is based on a kinematic model of the driver, which characterizes the upper body and arm as 7 degrees of freedom (DOF) for an unrestrained and 4DOF for a 3-point restrained driver.
Technical Paper

A Geodesics-Based Model for Obstacle Avoidance

2005-06-14
2005-01-2692
This paper presents a path prediction model for obstacle avoidance. A geodesics model is used to obtain the desired path in Cartesian space. The distance between the start target point (and end target point) and the surface of an obstacle is minimized to determine the boundary points of a geodesic across the surface of the obstacle. The model then numerically solves for a geodesic curve between the two boundary points of the geodesic on the surface of the obstacle. The model offsets the resulting discrete points on the geodesic in the positive normal direction (outside of the obstacle) to form a path of motion around the obstacle.
Technical Paper

Santos™: A New Generation of Virtual Humans

2005-04-11
2005-01-1407
Presented in this paper is an on-going project to develop a new generation of virtual human models that are highly realistic in terms of appearance, movement, and feedback (evaluation of the human body during task execution). Santos™ is an avatar that exhibits extensive modeling and simulation capabilities. It is an anatomically correct human model with more than 100 degrees of freedom. Santos™ resides in a virtual environment and can conduct human-factors analysis. This analysis entails, among other things, posture prediction, motion prediction, gait analysis, reach envelope analysis, and ergonomics studies. There are essentially three stages to developing virtual humans: (1) basic human modeling (representing how a human functions independently), (2) input functionality (awareness and analysis of the human’s environment), and (3) intelligent reaction to input (memory, reasoning, etc.). This paper addresses the first stage.
Technical Paper

Motion Prediction and Inverse Dynamics for Human Upper Extremities

2005-04-11
2005-01-1408
Santos™, a digital human avatar developed at The University of Iowa, exhibits extensive modeling and simulation capabilities. Santos™ is a part of a virtual environment for conducting human factors analysis consisting of posture prediction, motion prediction, and ergonomics studies. This paper presents part of the functionality in the Santos™ virtual environment, which is an optimization-based algorithm for simulating dynamic motion of Santos™. The joint torque and muscle power during the motion are also calculated within the algorithm. Mathematical cost functions that evaluate human performance are essential to any effort that would evaluate and compare various ergonomic designs. It is widely accepted that the ergonomic design process is actually an optimization problem with many design variables. This effort is basically a task-based approach that believes humans assume different postures and exert different forces to accomplish different tasks.
Technical Paper

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

2005-06-14
2005-01-2717
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.
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