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unilogo University of Stuttgart
Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics



Human Body Models with Dynamic Contacts

Project Description

The analysis of human movements is a substantial basis of biomechanical investigations in competitive sports, occupational medicine, rehabilitation or research of accidents. In biomechanical studies it was usual for long time to create models of the human body as a system of rigid bodies linked together by joints. But in the meantime, soft parts - also known as wobbling masses - are considered in the investigations.

The wobbling masses are complex structures which are interconnected with the bones by tendons and show a different behaviour as the bones, in particular to sudden changes of movement. As the bony parts are decelerated immediately, the movement of the soft parts is delayed initiating damped vibrations. Thus, the wobbling masses can reduce the reaction forces to the joints and bones and dissipate energy by deformation of their structures.

The objective of this project is to create a three-dimensional model of the wobbling masses that show the same dynamics as the human soft parts. Using the advantages of the method of multibody systems, the soft parts are divided in single point masses which are connected by spring and damper elements. Thus, it is possible to consider the vibrations and the deformations of the structures. This model shall be validated by experiments.


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  • Gruber, Stefan; Schiehlen, Werner; Volle, Andreas: Biomechanical System with Wobbling Masses, Proceedings of the 10th IFToMM World Congress on the Theory of Machines and Mechanisms, Oulu, Finnland, 20. - 24. Juni 1999, 1805-1810.
  • Guse, Nils: Stoßsimulationen mit Gitterrostmodellen, Diplomarbeit DIPL-83. Stuttgart: Universität, Institut B für Mechanik, 2000.
  • Volle, Andreas; Schiehlen, Werner: Damping of Prosthesis Motions by Soft Parts, Proceedings of the 12th CISM-IFToMM Symposium Ro.Man.Sy 98, Paris, Frankreich, 6. - 9. Juli 1998, 435-442.
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  • Volle, Andreas: Abschlußbericht zum DFG-Projekt Homunkulus - Entwicklung eines Modells des menschlichen Körpers, Forschungsbericht FB-39. Stuttgart: Universität, Institut B für Mechanik, 2000.
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