Virtual Soldier Research Program

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The Virtual Soldier Research program (VSR) is a research group within the University of Iowa Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD). VSR was founded by Professor Karim Abdel-Malek in 2003 through external funding from the US Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) to put the Warfighter at the center of US Army product designs.[1] Using this initial research and funding as a foundation, VSR continues to develop new technologies in digital human modeling and simulation.

VSR's digital human model, Santos (R), stands at the center of its digital human modeling and simulation research.[2] The high-fidelity, biomechanically accurate musculoskeletal model incorporates 215 degrees of freedom, including the hand,[3] feet, and eyes. The dimensions of the skeleton are mutable, able to represent any anthropometric cross section. In addition, Santos includes a muscular system with the ability to predict muscle activation and muscle forces in real time, using a novel optimization-based methodology.

The mathematical model for the Santos skeleton was developed based on the Denavit-Hartenberg method for kinematic and dynamic analysis.[4] Optimization is used to determine postures and motions that are governed by various human performance measures (objective functions) and constrained by the restrictions imposed by the skeleton, the laws of physics, and the environment.

VSR research has led to the spin-off of a private company, Santos Human Inc.,[5] specifically focused on product development.

Who is Santos™?

Santos is the virtual human who stands at the center of our digital human modeling and simulation research. Our high-fidelity, biomechanically accurate musculoskeletal model was developed from the inside out by our team of biomedical engineers, and incorporates 215 degrees of freedom, including the hand, feet, and eyes. The dimensions of the skeleton are mutable, able to represent any anthropometric cross section. In addition, Santos includes a muscular system with the ability to predict muscle activation and muscle forces in real time, using a novel optimization-based methodology.

Over time, the Santos family has grown to incorporate a variety of different body scans to provide a range of models that include our female version, Sophia, and a broad array of different body shapes, types, and sizes. Our research is currently being extended to allow multiple digital human models to interact with each other to complete tasks cooperatively.

Santos was built using state-of-the-art technologies adapted from robotics, Hollywood, and the game industry. Our research continues to grow in its dynamic capabilities, physiology, and intelligent behaviors through integration of Artifical Intelligence, design optimization, physics-based modeling, and advanced, multi-scale physiological models.

The mathematical model for the Santos skeleton was developed based on the Denavit-Hartenberg method for kinematic and dynamic analysis. Optimization is used to determine postures and motions that are governed by various human performance measures (objective functions) and constrained by the restrictions imposed by the skeleton, the laws of physics, and the environment. The software must be as fast and efficient as possible in an effort to provide real-time simulations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abdel-Malek, K., Yang, J., Kim, J.H., Beck, S., Swan, C., Frey-Law, L., Mathai, A., Murphy, C., Rahmatalla, S., and Arora, J. (2007). Development of the Virtual-Human Santos™. In V.G. Duffy (Ed.): Digital Human Modeling, HCII 2007, LNCS-4561, pp. 490-499.
  2. ^ https://www.ccad.uiowa.edu/vsr/about
  3. ^ Pena-Pitarch, E., Yang, J., and Abdel-Malek, K. (2005). Santos™ Hand: A 25-Degree-of-Freedom Model, SAE Technical Paper 2005-01-2727, doi: 10.4271/2005-01-2727.
  4. ^ Denavit, J., & Hartenberg, R. S. (1955). A kinematic notation for lower-pair mechanisms based on matrices. Journal of Applied Mechanics, 77, 215–221.
  5. ^ http://www.santoshumaninc.com/