Multi-Embodiment of Digital Humans in Virtual Reality for Assisting Human-Centered Ergonomics Design

We present a multi-embodiment interface aimed at assisting human-centered ergonomics design, where traditionally the design process is hindered by the need of recruiting diverse users or the utilization of disembodied simulations to address designing for most groups of the population. The multi-embodiment solution is to actively embody the user in the design and evaluation process in virtual reality, while simultaneously superimposing additional simulated virtual bodies on the user’s own body. This superimposed body acts as the target and enables simultaneous anthropometrical ergonomics evaluation for both the user’s self and the target. Both virtual bodies of self and target are generated using digital human modeling from statistical data, and the animation of self-body is motion-captured while the target body is moved using a weighted inverse kinematics approach with end effectors on the hands and feet. We conducted user studies to evaluate human ergonomics design in five scenarios in virtual reality, comparing multi-embodiment with single embodiment. Similar evaluations were conducted again in the physical environment after virtual reality evaluations to explore the post-VR influence of different virtual experience.

Kevin Fan, Akihiko Murai, Natsuki Miyata, Yuta Sugiura, Mitsunori Tada. In Augmented Human Research 2017. Springer, Volume 2, Article 7, 14 pages.