Digital human modeling (DHM) for improving work environment for specially-abled and elderly

Charu M. Maurya, Sougata Karmakar, Amarendra Kumar Das
2019 SN Applied Sciences  
Digital human modeling (DHM), a technique of simulating human interaction with the product or workplace in a virtual environment is gaining popularity. This virtual evaluation process is useful in developing user-centered products by incorporating human factor principles at an early design phase, which reduces the design time and improves quality. Application of DHM has gained attention in the design process of the manufacturing industry, agriculture, healthcare sectors, transportation and
more » ... ion sectors, etc. However, the use of DHM for designing ergonomic products and work environment for the specially-abled and elderly is quite limited. This, otherwise, is more important as their real-life participation in experiments pertaining to the ergonomic evaluation of any product, workplace or public facility may cause discomfort to them. Moreover, improved products or workplace reduces their dependence on others and enables active involvement in work, communication, and social life. Therefore, an attempt has been made in this paper to explore the state of the art literature review on the applications of DHM based virtual ergonomic approaches to improve products and workplaces designs for specially-abled/elderly. The paper also proposes a way forward to continue research and developmental activities towards the betterment of the quality of life of the elderly and specially-abled persons through proactive and inclusive design strategies. Digital human modeling software has gained attention for proactive design and ergonomic evaluation of products and workplaces in diverse fields that include manufacturing industry, healthcare sectors, transportation, agriculture, defense research and development, aerospace-aviation sectors and so on. In industrial workplace, DHM has been applied for improving the designs of work cells in car manufacturing plants [8] , designing of small fishing vessels to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders of fisherman [9], redesigning of work accessories for minimizing awkward postures in Indian shop floor workstation [10], workplace evaluation of coir industry, etc. [11]. The ergonomic analysis of refrigerated cabinets [12], shoe rack [13], adjustable walking cane [14], modified cycle rickshaw [15], improved load carrier for coolie [16] improved design of wearable load assisting device [17] etc. are few examples where DHM has been applied effectively. In the healthcare sector, DHM has been successfully utilized for improving laparoscopic surgery [18], evaluation of bathing system design for patients [19], patient lifting devices for healthcare personnel [20], etc. DHM also finds its application in the field of transportation, aviation, and aerospace viz. vision analysis of pilots in jet aircraft [21] , evaluation of cockpit design [22] , vehicle interior design [23], evaluation of seat belt, driver posture and comfort in vehicles [24, 25] . Inclusion of DHM in the design process of the agricultural tools and machinery [26] [27] [28] is also gaining popularity.
doi:10.1007/s42452-019-1399-y fatcat:qi5gcwnqfnallgzpp3vkxxsyda