Toward a new digital pregnant woman model and kinematic posture prediction

Bradley Howard, Jingzhou James Yang, Jared Gragg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Significant research efforts have been given to general digital human model and occupational accommodation for vehicles and workstations. However, no one has developed digital pregnant woman models or studied issues associated with pregnant women. This paper presents a new digital pregnant woman model and the study and simulation of seated posture prediction for pregnant women in order to explore the effects of pregnancy size and shape on seated posture and provide insight for future studies. This newly developed digital pregnant woman model has considered not only the anatomy of a general human with joints and links but also the changing size and shape throughout the course of the pregnancy. In simulation, the digital model is required to touch specific points in space from a seated position. Optimal joint angles are then calculated by simultaneously minimizing joint displacement and the distance between the right and left hands and their targets using multi-objective optimizations techniques. This optimization is naturally subject to physical and kinematical constraints. The physical constraints applied to a pregnant woman obviously vary from that of conventional posture prediction due to the unique physical movement limitations that apply only to this demographic.As such, a self collision avoidance subroutine is implemented to allow these unique constraints to be enforced. In order to truly characterize the effect of the pregnancy, simulations for each of the three trimesters of pregnancy are run. The results of the pregnant woman simulations are compared to the results of regular female simulations to illustrate the extent of the effects of the pregnancy on posture. A 48 degree of freedom (DOF) full body female model is used in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Applied Digital Human Modeling
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781439835128
ISBN (Print)9781439835111
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Human modeling
  • Multiobjective optimization
  • Posture prediction
  • Pregnant woman model


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