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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

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

Standing Reach Envelopes Incorporating Anthropometric Variance and Postural Cost

Standing reach envelopes are important tools for the design of industrial and vehicle environments. Previous work in this area has focussed on manikin-based (where a few manikins are used to simulate individuals reaching within the region of interest) and population-based (where data are gathered on many individuals reaching in a constrained environment) approaches. Each of these methods has merits and shortfalls. The current work bridges the manikin- and population-based approaches to assessing reach by creating population models using kinematic simulation techniques driven by anthropometric data. The approach takes into account body dimensions, balance, and postural cost to create continuous models that can be used to assess designs with respect to both maximal and submaximal reaches. Cost is quantified as the degree to which the torso is involved in the reach, since the inclination of the torso is a good measure of lower-back load and may be related to subjective reach difficulty.
Technical Paper

Development of Performance Specifications for the Occupant Classification Anthropomorphic Test Device (Ocatd)

Advanced airbag systems use a variety of sensors to classify vehicle occupants so that the airbag deployment can be modulated accordingly. One potential input to such systems is the distribution of pressure applied to the seat surface by the occupant. However, the development of such systems is hindered by the lack of suitable human surrogates. The OCATD program has developed two new surrogates for advanced airbag applications representing a small adult woman and a six-year-old child. This paper describes the development of performance specifications for the OCATDs based on a study of the seat surface pressure distributions produced by vehicle occupants. The pressure distributions of sixty-eight small women and children ranging in body weight between 23 and 48 kg were measured on four seats in up to twelve postures per seat. The data were analyzed to determine the parameters of the pressure distribution that best predict occupant body weight.
Technical Paper

Development of Seatbelt Fit Assessment Components for the ASPECT Manikin

As part of the Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools (ASPECT) program, UMTRI researchers developed a new H-point manikin that is intended to replace the current SAE J826 manikin. The original manikin is used in many automotive applications, including as a platform for a belt-fit test device (BTD). In the current project, components and procedures were developed to measure belt fit using the ASPECT manikin. Contoured lap and torso forms were constructed using anthropometric data from an earlier UMTRI study. Prototype forms were mounted on the ASPECT manikin for testing in a laboratory fixture and in vehicles. The testing demonstrated that the ASPECT-BTD produces consistent measures of belt fit that vary in expected ways with belt geometry.
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

Redesigning Workstations Utilizing Motion Modification Algorithm

Workstation design is one of the most essential components of proactive ergonomics, and digital human models have gained increasing popularity in the analysis and design of current and future workstations (Chaffin 2001). Using digital human technology, it is possible to simulate interactions between humans and current or planned workstations, and conduct quantitative ergonomic analyses based on realistic human postures and motions. Motion capture has served as the primary means by which to acquire and visualize human motions in a digital environment. However, motion capture only provides motions for a specific person performing specific tasks. Albeit useful, at best this allows for the analysis of current or mocked-up workstations only. The ability to subsequently modify these motions is required to efficiently evaluate alternative design possibilities and thus improve design layouts.
Technical Paper

The Tolerance of the Human Hip to Dynamic Knee Loading

Based on an analysis of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) database from calendar years 1995-2000, over 30,000 fractures and dislocations of the knee-thigh-hip (KTH) complex occur in frontal motor-vehicle crashes each year in the United States. This analysis also shows that the risk of hip injury is generally higher than the risks of knee and thigh injuries in frontal crashes, that hip injuries are occurring to adult occupants of all ages, and that most hip injuries occur at crash severities that are equal to, or less than, those used in FMVSS 208 and NCAP testing. Because previous biomechanical research produced mostly knee or distal femur injuries, and because knee and femur injuries were frequently documented in early crash investigation data, the femur has traditionally been viewed as the weakest part of the KTH complex.
Technical Paper

Development of Anthropometric Specifications for the Six-Year-Old OCATD

Advanced airbag systems use information from a variety of sensors to tune the airbag performance for crash severity and occupant characteristics. A new family of Occupant Classification ATDs (OCATD) have been developed for use in the design and testing of advanced airbag systems. This paper describes the development of anthropometric standards for an OCATD that represents a typical six-year-old child. Detailed analyses of existing child anthropometry databases were conducted to develop reference dimensions. A child who closely matched the reference dimensions was measured in a variety of conditions. A custom molded measurement seat was constructed using foam-in-place seating material. The surface of the child's body was scanned as he sat in the custom seat, and the three-dimensional locations of body landmarks defining the skeleton position were recorded.
Technical Paper

Anthropometry for WorldSID A World-Harmonized Midsize Male Side Impact Crash Dummy

The WorldSID project is a global effort to design a new generation side impact crash test dummy under the direction of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The first WorldSID crash dummy will represent a world-harmonized mid-size adult male. This paper discusses the research and rationale undertaken to define the anthropometry of a world standard midsize male in the typical automotive seated posture. Various anthropometry databases are compared region by region and in terms of the key dimensions needed for crash dummy design. The Anthropometry for Motor Vehicle Occupants (AMVO) dataset, as established by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), is selected as the basis for the WorldSID mid-size male, updated to include revisions to the pelvis bone location. The proposed mass of the dummy is 77.3kg with full arms. The rationale for the selected mass is discussed. The joint location and surface landmark database is appended to this paper.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Postural Variability: Limitations of the Boundary Manikin Approach

Human figure models are commonly used to facilitate ergonomic assessments of vehicle driver stations and other workplaces. One routine method of workstation assessment is to conduct a suite of ergonomic analyses using a family of boundary manikins, chosen to represent a range of anthropometric extremes on several dimensions. The suitability of the resulting analysis depends both on the methods by which the boundary manikins are selected and on the methods used to posture the manikins. The automobile driver station design problem is used to examine the relative importance of anthropometric and postural variability in ergonomic assessments. Postural variability is demonstrated to be nearly as important as anthropometric variability when the operator is allowed a substantial range of component adjustment. The consequences for boundary manikin procedures are discussed, as well as methods for conducting accurate and complete assessments using the available tools.
Technical Paper

Considering Driver Balance Capability in Truck Shifter Design

A person's ability to perform a task is often limited by their ability to maintain balance. This is particularly true in lateral work performed in seated environments. For a truck driver operating the shift lever of a manual transmission, excessive shift forces can necessitate pulling on the steering wheel with the other hand to maintain balance, creating a potentially unsafe condition. An analysis of posture and balance in truck shifter operation was conducted using balance limits to define the acceptable range of shifter locations. The results are dependent on initial driver position, reach postures, and shoulder strength. The effects of shifter force direction and magnitude were explored to demonstrate the application of the analysis method. This methodology can readily be applied to other problems involving hand-force exertions in seated environments.
Technical Paper

A Task-Based Stepping Behavior Model for Digital Human Models

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

Improved Positioning Procedures for 6YO and 10YO ATDs Based on Child Occupant Postures

The outcomes of crash tests can be influenced by the initial posture and position of the anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) used to represent human occupants. In previous work, positioning procedures for ATDs representing adult drivers and rear-seat passengers have been developed through analysis of posture data from human volunteers. The present study applied the same methodology to the development of positioning procedures for ATDs representing six-year-old and ten-year-old children sitting on vehicle seats and belt-positioning boosters. Data from a recent study of 62 children with body mass from 18 to 45 kg were analyzed to quantify hip and head locations and pelvis and head angles for both sitter-selected and standardized postures. In the present study, the 6YO and 10YO Hybrid-III ATDs were installed using FMVSS 213 procedures in six test conditions used previously with children.
Technical Paper

A New Database of Child Anthropometry and Seated Posture for Automotive Safety Applications

This paper presents a laboratory study of body dimensions, seated posture, and seatbelt fit for children weighing from 40 to 100 lb (18 to 45 kg). Sixty-two boys and girls were measured in three vehicle seats with and without each of three belt-positioning boosters. In addition to standard anthropometric measurements, three-dimensional body landmark locations were recorded with a coordinate digitizer in sitter-selected and standardized postures. This new database quantifies the vehicle-seated postures of children and provides quantitative evidence of the effects of belt-positioning boosters on belt fit. The data will provide guidance for child restraint design, crash dummy development, and crash dummy positioning procedures.
Technical Paper

Development of ATD Installation Procedures Based on Rear-Seat Occupant Postures

The initial positioning of anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) can influence the outcomes of crash tests. Current procedures for positioning ATDs in rear seats are not based on systematic studies of passenger postures. This paper compares the postures of three side-impact ATDs to the postures of 24 men and women in three vehicle rear seats and 16 laboratory conditions. When positioned using current procedures, the locations of the ES-2 and SID-HIII ATD heads are generally rearward of those observed with similar-size passengers. The SID-IIs head locations matched the expected locations of heads of passengers of similar size more closely. As the seat back angle was increased, people reclined less than the ATDs. Based on these findings, a new ATD positioning procedure for rear seats was developed. The primary objective of the new procedure is to place the ATD head in the location that is most likely for people of similar size.
Technical Paper

Geometric Visibility of Mirror Mounted Turn Signals

Turn signals mounted on exterior rearview mirrors are increasingly being used as original equipment on passenger cars and light trucks. The potential for mirror-mounted turn signals (MMTS) to improve the geometric visibility of turn signals is examined in this paper. A survey of U.S. and UN-ECE regulations showed that the turn signals of a vehicle that is minimally compliant with U.S. regulations are not visible to a driver of a nearby vehicle in an adjacent lane. Measurements of mirror location and window geometry were made on 74 passenger cars and light trucks, including 38 vehicles with fender-mounted turn signals (FMTS). These data were combined with data on driver eye locations from two previous studies to assess the relative visibility of MMTS and conventional signals. Simulations were conducted to examine the potential for signals to be obstructed when a driver looks laterally through the passenger-side window.
Technical Paper

Cervical Spine Geometry in the Automotive Seated Posture: Variations with Age, Stature, and Gender

In the mid 1970s, UMTRI investigated the biomechanical properties of the head and neck using 180 “normal” adult subjects selected to fill eighteen subject groups based on age (young, mid-aged, older), gender, and stature (short, medium, and tall by gender). Lateral-view radiographs of the subjects’ cervical spines and heads were taken with the subjects seated in a simulated automotive neutral posture, as well as with their necks in full-voluntary flexion and full-voluntary extension. Although the cervical spine and lower head geometry were previously measured manually and documented, new technologies have enabled computer digitization of the scanned x-ray images and a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the variation in cervical spine and lower head geometry with subject age, stature, and gender. After scanning the radiographic images, 108 skeletal landmarks on the cervical vertebrae and 10 head landmarks were digitized.
Technical Paper

Balance Maintenance during Seated Reaches of People with Spinal Cord Injury

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

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.