Evaluation of motion comfort using advanced active human body models and efficient simplified models

by   Raj Desai, et al.

Active muscles are crucial for maintaining postural stability when seated in a moving vehicle. Advanced active 3D non-linear full body models have been developed for impact and comfort simulation, including large numbers of individual muscle elements, and detailed non-linear models of the joint structures. While such models have an apparent potential to provide insight into postural stabilization, they are computationally demanding, making them less practical in particular for driving comfort where long time periods are to be studied. In vibration comfort and in general biomechanical research, linearized models are effectively used. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of simplified 3D full body human models to capture vibration comfort. An efficient seated human body model is developed and validated using experimental data. We evaluate the required complexity in terms of joints and degrees of freedom for the spine, and explore how well linear spring-damper models can approximate reflexive postural stabilization. Results indicate that linear stiffness and damping models can capture well the human response. However, the results are improved by adding proportional integral derivative (PID) controllers to maintain the defined initial body posture. The integrator is shown to be essential to prevent drift from the defined posture. The joint angular relative displacement is used as the input reference to each PID controller. With this model, a faster than real time solution is obtained when used with a simple seat model. The paper also discusses advantages and disadvantages of various models and provides insight into which models are more appropriate for motion comfort analysis. The results of this paper can provide valuable insights for designers, and researchers in the automotive and seating industries to improve the comfort and safety of seats and vehicles occupants.


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