Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cebit 2015: Simulations show how using tablets and smartphones puts stress on joints and muscles

09.03.2015

Spending hours on a computer or sending lots of text messages on a mobile phone can result in a stiff neck and sometimes even a strained thumb. Computer scientists in Saarbrücken have developed a procedure that simulates in a lifelike manner which muscles and joints are put under particular strain when using IT devices. It also demonstrates the speed and accuracy with which a user can operate a device. The method developed by the researchers uses cameras to capture the motion of a test subject and then projects these movements onto a model of the human body. The technique is of potential interest to product designers and occupational physicians. The researchers will be showcasing their project from March 16th to March 20th at the Cebit computer expo in Hanover (Stand E13, Hall 9).

Tense shoulders, neck strain or a painful wrist are not uncommon among those who spend long periods of time working at a computer. Indeed, this sort of problem can also arise when using the newer types of IT devices that have appeared on the market over the last few years.


To carry out the simulation, the researchers use software to map these movements onto a model of the human body.

Credit: Oliver Dietze


Computer scientists in Saarbrücken have developed a procedure that simulates in a lifelike manner which muscles and joints are put under particular strain when using IT devices.

Credit: Oliver Dietze

For example, the use of gestures to control games consoles can cause particularly high levels of stress to shoulders or knees. Touch screens that require users to hold their arm in an extended position for long periods of time can also be problematic – experts refer to this specific type of muscle fatigue as ‘gorilla arm’.

To help designers and developers of new IT devices take into account those movements that create unnecessary bodily strain, graduate researcher Myroslav Bachynskyi and his colleagues have developed a tool that enables realistic simulation of user movements. ‘Our approach combines three-dimensional motion capture with biomechanical simulation,’ explains Bachynskyi, a PhD student at the Saarbrücken Cluster of Excellence and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.

In optical motion capture a test subject wearing a special suit equipped with small optical markers performs a particular sequence of movements, such as waving his or her arms in order to control a computer game. The markers on the suit emit light that is recorded by special cameras. ‘To carry out the simulation, we use software to map these movements onto a model of the human body,’ says Bachynskyi.

To shed light on the actual biomechanical loads acting on specific body parts, the simulation program calculates a number of key parameters: the joint angles, the forces acting on the joints at any time during the movement, as well as muscle activation and fatigue. ‘The model allows us to see precisely which part of the body is subjected to the greatest loading when a particular movement is performed, and so we can determine whether, say, the upper arm muscles or the elbow are under particular strain,’ explains Bachynskyi.

‘Our method also shows us how efficiently, that is, how quickly and accurately a user operates a particular piece of IT equipment.’ The method offers a possibility to find an optimal combination of user performance and physical ergonomics.

One of the cases studied by the researchers was how users interacted with a wall-mounted vertical touch screen. They found that movements from left to right and from top to bottom put less stress on the muscles than forward and backward movements. They conclude that a virtual keyboard is therefore best positioned in the lower central part of the screen.

Designers can exploit this new analysis method to improve user interaction with their products. The methodology is also of interest in occupational medicine and in industry, where it can be used to improve the design of workplaces in large computer-assisted production facilities.

Computer science and informatics at Saarland University

The Department of Computer Science forms the core of the informatics landscape at Saarland University. A further seven internationally renowned research institutes are located in the immediate vicinity on campus. As well as the two Max Planck Institutes for Informatics and for Software Systems, the Saarbrücken campus is also home to the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the Intel Visual Computing Institute, the Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA) and the Cluster of Excellence ‘Multimodal Computing and Interaction’.

Myroslav Bachynskyi is a doctoral research student at Saarland University and a member of the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science.

For more information about the research work, please go to: http://resources.mpi-inf.mpg.de/biomechanics/

Questions can be addressed to:
Myroslav Bachynskyi
Cluster of Excellence ‘Multimodal Computing and Interaction’
Tel.: +49 (0)681 302-71929
E-mail: mbachyns(at)mpi-inf.mpg.de

Melanie Löw | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://www.uni-saarland.de

Further reports about: Computing Multimodal Multimodal Computing Simulations markers movements muscles strain

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight
24.04.2018 | Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)

nachricht Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018
23.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>