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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

Simulating Complex Automotive Assembly Tasks using the HUMOSIM Framework

Efficient methods for simulating operators performing part handling tasks in manufacturing plants are needed. The simulation of part handling motions is an important step towards the implementation of virtual manufacturing for the purpose of improving worker productivity and reducing injuries in the workplace. However, industrial assembly tasks are often complex and involve multiple interactions between workers and their environment. The purpose of this paper is to present a series of industrial simulations using the Human Motion Simulation Framework developed at the University of Michigan. Three automotive assembly operations spanning scenarios, such as small and large parts, tool use, walking, re-grasping, reaching inside a vehicle, etc. were selected.
Journal Article

Distribution of Belt Anchorage Locations in the Second Row of Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

Seat belt anchorage locations have a strong effect on occupant protection. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 210 specifies requirements for the layout of the anchorages relative to the seating reference point and seat back angle established by the SAE J826 H-point manikin. Sled testing and computational simulation has established that belt anchorage locations have a strong effect on occupant kinematics, particularly for child occupants using the belt as their primary restraint. As part of a larger study of vehicle geometry, the locations of the anchorage points in the second-row, outboard seating positions of 83 passenger cars and light trucks with a median model year of 2005 were measured. The lower anchorage locations spanned the entire range of lap belt angles permissible under FMVSS 210 and the upper anchorages (D-ring locations) were distributed widely as well.
Technical Paper

Laboratory Investigations and Mathematical Modeling of Airbag-Induced Skin Burns

Although driver-side airbag systems provide protection against serious head and chest injuries in frontal impacts, injuries produced by the airbag itself have also been reported. Most of these injuries are relatively minor, and consist primarily of skin abrasions and burns. Previous investigations have addressed the mechanisms of airbag-induced skin abrasion. In the current research, laboratory studies related to the potential for thermal burns due to high-temperature airbag exhaust gas were conducted. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to produce a 10-mm-diameter jet of hot air that was directed onto the leg skin of human volunteers in time-controlled pulses. Skin burns were produced in 70 of 183 exposures conducted using air temperatures ranging from 350 to 550°C, air velocities from 50 to 90 m/s, and exposure durations from 50 to 300 ms.
Technical Paper

Characterizing Vehicle Occupant Body Dimensions and Postures Using a Statistical Body Shape Model

Reliable, accurate data on vehicle occupant characteristics could be used to personalize the occupant experience, potentially improving both satisfaction and safety. Recent improvements in 3D camera technology and increased use of cameras in vehicles offer the capability to effectively capture data on vehicle occupant characteristics, including size, shape, posture, and position. In previous work, the body dimensions of standing individuals were reliably estimated by fitting a statistical body shape model (SBSM) to data from a consumer-grade depth camera (Microsoft Kinect). In the current study, the methodology was extended to consider seated vehicle occupants. The SBSM used in this work was developed using laser scan data gathered from 147 children with stature ranging from 100 to 160 cm and BMI from 12 to 27 kg/m2 in various sitting postures.
Technical Paper

Predicting Foot Positions for Manual Materials Handling Tasks

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

Optimizing Vehicle Occupant Packaging

Occupant packaging practice relies on statistical models codified in SAE practices, such as the SAE J941 eyellipse, and virtual human figure models representing individual occupants. The current packaging approach provides good solutions when the problem is relatively unconstrained, but achieving good results when many constraints are active, such as restricted headroom and sightlines, requires a more rigorous approach. Modeling driver needs using continuous models that retain the residual variance associated with performance and preference allows use of optimization methodologies developed for robust design. Together, these models and methods facilitate the consideration of multiple factors simultaneously and tradeoff studies can be performed. A case study involving the layout of the interior of a passenger car is presented, focusing on simultaneous placement of the seat and steering wheel adjustment ranges.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Driver Discomfort and Related Seat Design Factors in Extended-Duration Driving

A study of automotive seating comfort and related design factors was conducted, utilizing subjective techniques of seat comfort assessment and objective measures of the seat/subject interaction. Eight male subjects evaluated four different test seats during a short-term seating session and throughout a three-hour driving simulation. For the latter, subjects operated a static laboratory driving simulator, performing body-area discomfort evaluations at thirty-minute intervals. Cross-modality matching (CMM), a subjective assessment technique in which a stimulus is rated by matching to the level of another stimulus, was used during the long-term driving simulation to evaluate discomfort. Subject posture, muscle activity in the lower back and abdomen, and pressure levels at key support locations on the seat were monitored. In addition, a sonic digitizing system was used to record seat indentation contours and to characterize the subjects' spinal contours.
Technical Paper

Modeling Vehicle Ingress and Egress Using the Human Motion Simulation Framework

The ease of getting into and out of passenger cars and light trucks is a critical component of customer acceptance and product differentiation. In commercial vehicles, the health and safety of drivers is affected by the design of the steps and handholds they use to get into and out of the cab. Ingress/egress assessment appears to represent a substantial application opportunity for digital human models. The complexity of the design space and the range of possible biomechanical and subjective measures of interest mean that developing useful empirical models is difficult, requiring large-scale subject testing with physical mockups. Yet, ingress and egress motions are complex and strongly affected by the geometric constraints and driver attributes, posing substantial challenges in creating meaningful simulations using figure models.
Technical Paper

Predicting Force-Exertion Postures from Task Variables

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

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

Development of Surrogate Child Restraints for Testing Occupant Sensing and Classification Systems

This paper describes the design and development of a family of surrogate child restraints that are intended for use in developing and testing occupant sensing and classification systems. Detailed measurements were made of the geometry and mass distribution characteristics of 34 commercial child restraints, including infant restraints, convertibles, combination restraints, and boosters. The restraints were installed in three test seats with appropriately sized crash dummies to obtain data on seat-surface pressure patterns and the position and orientation of the restraint with belt loading. The data were used to construct two surrogates with removable components. The convertible surrogate can be used to represent a rear-facing infant restraint with or without a base, a rear-facing convertible, or a forward-facing convertible. The booster surrogate can represent a high-back belt-positioning booster, a backless booster, or a forward-facing-only restraint with a five-point harness.
Technical Paper

A Laboratory Technique for Assessing the Skin Abrasion Potential of Airbags

In recent investigations of airbag deployments, drivers h v c reported abrasions to the face, neck, and forearms due to deploying airbags, A study of the airbag design and deployments parameters affecting the incidence and severity of abrasions caused by driver-side airbags has led to the development of a laboratory test procedure to evaluate the potential of an airbag design m cause skin injury This report describes the procedure, which is based an static deployments of airbags into a cylindrical lest fixture. The target area is covered with a material that responds to abrasion-producing events in a manner related to human skin tolerance. Test results show excellent correlation with abrasion injuries produced by airbag deployments into the skin of human volunteers.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Airbag-Induced Skin Abrasions

Static deployments of driver-side airbags into the legs of human subjects were used to investigate the effects of inflator capacity, internal airbag tethering, airbag fabric, and the distance from the module on airbag-induced skin abrasion. Abrasion mechanisms were described by measurements of airbag fabric velocity and target surface pressure. Airbag fabric kinematics resulting in three distinct abrasion patterns were identified. For all cases, abrasions were found to be caused primarily by high-velocity fabric impactrather than scraping associated with lateral fabric motion. Use of higher-capacity inflators increased abrasion severity, and untethered airbags produced more severe abrasions than tethered airbags at distances greater than the length of the tether. Abrasion severity decreased as the distance increased from 225 to 450 mm. Use of a finer-weave airbag fabric in place of a coarser-weave fabric did not decrease the severity of abrasion.
Technical Paper

New Concepts in Vehicle Interior Design Using ASPECT

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program developed a new physical manikin for seat measurement and new techniques for integrating the seat measurements into the vehicle design process. This paper presents an overview of new concepts in vehicle interior design that have resulted from the ASPECT program and other studies of vehicle occupant posture and position conducted at UMTRI. The new methods result from an integration of revised versions of the SAE seat position and eyellipse models with the new tools developed in ASPECT. Measures of seat and vehicle interior geometry are input to statistical posture and position prediction tools that can be applied to any specified user population or individual occupant anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

ASPECT: The Next-Generation H-Point Machine and Related Vehicle and Seat Design and Measurement Tools

The ASPECT program was conducted to develop new Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools. This paper presents a summary of the objectives, methods, and results of the program. The primary goal of ASPECT was to create a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point machine. The new ASPECT manikin has an articulated torso linkage, revised seat contact contours, a new weighting scheme, and a simpler, more user-friendly installation procedure. The ASPECT manikin simultaneously measures the H-point location, seat cushion angle, seatback angle, and lumbar support prominence of a seat, and can be used to make measures of seat stiffness. In addition to the physical manikin, the ASPECT program developed new tools for computer-aided design (CAD) of vehicle interiors. The postures and positions of hundreds of vehicle occupants with a wide range of body size were measured in many different vehicle conditions.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Airbag-Induced Thermal Skin Burn Model

The UMTRI Airbag Skin Burn Model has been improved through laboratory testing and the implementation of a more flexible heat transfer model. A new impinging jet module based on laboratory measurements of heat flux due to high-velocity gas jets has been added, along with an implicit finite-difference skin conduction module. The new model can be used with airbag gas dynamics simulation outputs, or with heat flux data measured in the laboratory, to predict the potential for thermal skin burn due to exposure to airbag exhaust gas.
Technical Paper

Improved ATD Positioning Procedures

Current anthropomorphic test device (ATD) positioning procedures for drivers and front-seat passengers place the crash dummy within the vehicle by reference to the seat track. Midsize-male ATDs are placed at the center of the fore-aft seat track adjustment range, while small-female and large-male ATDs are placed at the front and rear of the seat track, respectively. Research on occupant positioning at UMTRI led to the development of a new ATD positioning procedure that places the ATDs at positions more representative of the driving positions of people who match the ATD's body dimensions. This paper presents a revised version of the UMTRI ATD positioning procedure. The changes to the procedure improve the ease and repeatability of ATD positioning while preserving the accuracy of the resulting ATD positions with respect to the driving positions of people matching the ATD anthropometry.
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.