Research

What Makes Us Different

The VSR Program is the world’s most advanced digital human modeling laboratory and combines the leading scientists, engineers, and programmers with the ideal environment for sustained world-class research and development in the field of digital human modeling.

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Musculoskeletal Model

Our goal is to incorporate an accurate musculoskeletal system within Santos™, the avatar currently being developed within VSR. This system will allow for real time interaction and analysis of muscle forces within a package which is designed for widespread use. 

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Whole Body Vibration

The 3D Bio-Motion Research Lab at the Center for Computer Aided Design, the University of Iowa, hosts a six-degree-of-freedom man-rated Moog-FCS motion platform (Army Research Office-DURIP award (2007)) that can play back field’s ride files of heavy machinery inside the lab with a high degree of accuracy. 

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Validation

VSR has grown into a center of expertise for motion-capture-based validation. The objective of developing a validation methodology is to efficiently and effectively compare the motion of the predicted model and normal subjects while requiring a minimal amount of information.

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Motion Capture

The 3D Bio-Motion Research Lab (3DBMRL) performs applied and basic research in human motion analysis. The 3DBMRL is committed to providing industry and government with innovative testing capabilities and analysis tools to study human motion and human response to external loading.

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Intuitive Interface

An intuitive interface gives its user the power to unleash the lastest research developments across a wide array of academic fields. At VSR, our production team understands the importance of a usable interface in bringing the underlying research to life. 

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Immersive Virtual Reality

The Portal™ is a completely immersive virtual reality system. The Portal can accommodate up to 5 people at a time, giving them the illusion of being immersed in a virtual reality world. Because of its high degree of realism, the Portal can be used for simulations, analysis of designs, interactions with Santos™ as well as experimental studies. 

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Physiology

VSR models the responses of the physiological system at macro level. These responses are essentially the vital signs of heart rate, core body temperature and the ventilation rate.

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Standard Ergonomic Assessments

The new intuitive interface for Santos Versioin 1 has many different ergonomic assesment capabilities available. They take complicated NIOSH and Liberty Mutual equations and change them into an easy to use inteface and application that can be used with the Santos and the Santos environment.

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Zone Differentiation

Zone Differentiation (ZD or Zone Diff) is a term the Virtual Soldier Research group uses to indicate an analysis of the space surrounding the body. Unlike a reach envelope - which can only determine if a point in space is reachable – Zone Diff provides ergonomic and human factors issues related to the postures required to touch all the points in a discretized space surrounding an avatar.

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Posture and Motion Prediction

The ability to predict posture and motion realistically is the crux of any comprehensive effort to model humans. Consequently, we have developed extensive capabilities in these arenas, using optimization.

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Spine Modeling

Models and computer simulations have served countless purposes in biomechanical research. Many of these models have been used to predict or estimate characteristrelativeics of human locomotion and mechanisms in body movement. Examples of such models include: linked segment models, used to estimate joint kinetics; muscle models, used to estimate individual muscle forces and energetics; and simulations of direct and inverse dynamics, used to estimate coordination and optimization of movement strategies.

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Gait: Walking and Running

The fundamentals: What we do is walking and running prediction. Our algorithms predict every possible variable in a gait cycle while taking into consideration aspects of loading, joint ranges of motion, moments of inertia, anthropometry, body types, terrain, etc. This is the most advanced algorithm that has been created for the prediction of gait and that is based on a true biomechanical model. The work in this area has been funded by the US Army Natick. 

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Predictive Dynamics

Predictive Dynamics is a term coined to characterize the prediction of human motion in a physics-based world.

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Dynamic Strength and Failure

Digital models provide information on how humans might perform a task; however, it is another issue for a digital human model to provide feedback about its ability to realistically perform a task. In other words, they cannot tell us how "difficult" a task "felt." In approaching the issue of human strength and fatigue, it was decided to break down a "whole-body fatigue" concept into two parts: muscle strength and aerobic energy consumption.

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Modeling of Clothing

Modeling of very flexible systems (clothing) as shells and membranes at arbitrarily large deformations. Contact modeling between clothing and the human, and self-contact between portions of the same garment. Developing suitable constitutive models that account for the fibers comprising the fabric, and their evolving woven or knitted structure in the garment .

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Human Performance

The Fundamentals: The Santos environment uses the theory of optimization to "predict" the motion. Given initial and final conditions, a cost function is used to drive the motion from one to the other. Indeed, it is the cost functions that make the resulting (predicted or calculated) motion as humanistic and as natural as possible. The optimization formulation also needs constraints.

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Armor and Soldier Performance

The Fundamentals: The Santos environment allows a user to simulate soldier performance while carrying various loads (weapons, munitions, etc.) and while conducting various tasks. The VSR team has developed revolutionary technology called "Predictive Dynamics." It allows for a physics-based system to predict the complete dynamics of a task conducted by a soldier. The VSR team now uses Predictive Dynamics to model any task.

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