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Megatronic Simulator of the Human Arm

College
College of Engineering (COE)
Researchers
Sommerich, Carolyn
Luscher, Anthony
Licensing Manager
Gooray, Arthur "Art"
(614) 292-9640
gooray.1@osu.edu

TS-037507 — A novel mechanism to test and simulate the loading dynamics of a tool-task-operator interface.

According to most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 33% of all work-related injuries and illnesses. Occupational tool ergonomics have long been studied to assess risk factors that MSD work-related injuries in the manufacturing sector. Too…

The Need

According to most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 33% of all work-related injuries and illnesses. Occupational tool ergonomics have long been studied to assess risk factors that MSD work-related injuries in the manufacturing sector. Tool dynamics and reaction forces at operators’ hands depend on several factors, including the type of tool, the program, joint stiffness, and human arm properties, such as stiffness, effective mass, and damping. The operator’s posture and fatigue can affect these factors, which complicates the analysis of the tool. Companies that utilize powered torque tools in product manufacturing do not have a valid means for measuring reaction forces experienced by tool operators. There is an unmet need for technology that can be used to study a controlled and repeatable manual manufacturing task in a systematic way.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Carolyn Sommerich, have developed a dynamic test rig that assesses tool-task-operator interaction, reaction force, and handle displacement for a powered torque tool. The technology aims to prevent musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity, particularly in the automotive service sector by creating a standard testing method for new tools. The rig can simulate a human arm’s dynamic response and in its operation, can be programmed to match a particular subject’s extremity properties.

Commercial Applications

  • Commercial Product Testing
  • Design and Testing of Haptic Interfaces
  • Ergonomics Response Evaluation
  • Industrial Manufacturing

Benefits/Advantages

  • The technology can be used to model a subject once and the newly created arm model can be used repeatedly, or the database can be used to made population-based predictions.
  • The use of a megatronic device eliminates variations in each repetition of a subject’s testing.
  • A large amount of dynamic reaction force information from the tool with increased efficiency.