Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2010

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Soura Dasgupta

Second Advisor

Rajankumar Bhatt

First Committee Member

Soura Dasgupta

Second Committee Member

Nicole M Grosland

Third Committee Member

Jasbir Arora

Fourth Committee Member

Rajankumar Bhatt


We consider a new approach to digital human simulation, using Model Predictive Control (MPC). This approach permits a virtual human to react online to unanticipated disturbances that occur in the course of performing a task. In particular, we predict the motion of a virtual human in response to two different types of real world disturbances: impulsive and sustained. This stands in contrast to prior approaches where all such disturbances need to be known a priori and the optimal reactions must be computed off line. We validate this approach using a planar 3 degrees of freedom serial chain mechanism to imitate the human upper limb. The response of the virtual human upper limb to various inputs and external disturbances is determined by solving the Equations of Motion (EOM). The control input is determined by the MPC Controller using only the current and the desired states of the system. MPC replaces the closed loop optimization problem with an open loop optimization allowing the ease of implementation of control law. Results presented in this thesis show that the proposed controller can produce physically realistic adaptive simulations of a planar upper limb of digital human in presence of impulsive and sustained disturbances.


Digital Human Simulation, Disturbance Response, Model Predictive Control, Motion Prediction, Optimization, Upper Limb Model


ix, 63 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-63).


Copyright 2010 Katha Janak Sheth