Assessing the validity of kinematically generated reach envelopes for simulations of vehicle operators

Matthew P. Reed, Matthew B. Parkinson, Amy L. Klinkenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Assessments of reach capability using human figure models are commonly performed by exercising each joint of a kinematic chain, terminating in the hand, through the associated ranges of motion. The result is a reach envelope determined entirely by the segment lengths, joint degrees of freedom, and joint ranges of motion. In this paper, the validity of this approach is assessed by comparing the reach envelopes obtained by this method to those obtained in a laboratory study of men and women. Figures were created in the Jack human modeling software to represent the kinematic linkages of participants in the laboratory study. Maximum reach was predicted using the software's kinematic reach-envelope generation methods and by interactive manipulation. Predictions were compared to maximum reach envelopes obtained experimentally. The findings indicate that several changes to the normal procedures for obtaining maximum reach envelopes for seated tasks are needed. Accurate prediction of maximum seated reach requires consideration of balance and pelvis mobility, neither of which is closely linked to joint range of motion. Sufficient ranges of motion in the shoulder and torso are also needed to represent postures near maximum reach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2003
EventDigital Human Modeling for Design and Engineering Conference and Exposition - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 16 2003Jun 19 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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