Enhancing Marine Ergonomic Design Via Digital Human Modelling

T. Dobbins, J. Hill, Sean McCartan, Tim Thompson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Citations (Scopus)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

This published conference paper was given at the RINA International Conference on Human Factors in Ship Design & Operation, 16-17 November 2011, London. Author's note: In numerous ways automobiles and boats share many ergonomic features and similarities, e.g. the driver and coxswain may sit in a seat and steer the vehicle using a wheel. The dynamic motion of the boat, and the different operational scenarios, mean that effective ergonomic solutions are more complex than for the typical car driver. The boat requires effective occupant postural stability as well as easy ingress and egress. The automotive sector has produced ergonomic design tools, e.g. RAMSIS CAD software - a Digital Human Model, to support the development of good ergonomic features. Therefore the potential exists to transfer this automotive technology to the marine sector to support the development of effective ergonomic solutions for the complex marine environment.
This research demonstrated the application of RAMSIS (cutting edge CAD-based automotive ergonomic analysis tool) to different marine vessel types. It demonstrated the advantages of CAD-based ergonomic analysis to resolve human factors to a high degree of accuracy. A significant body of work was undertaken using RAMSIS to analyse a number of vessels.
This evaluation of the RAMSIS tool demonstrated that for the marine sector it is effective in conditions similar to those found in typical automotive conditions. But, for the more extreme marine environments, where the crew is required to use protective clothing and equipment, and use marine specific seating/postural support, the limitations of RAMSIS need to be addressed.
Later work therefore involved the development of a CAD based marine specific DHM analysis tool addressing the shortcomings of RAMSIS. A validation procedure was also developed through the use of motion capture technology.
Motion capture and marine specific digital human models were then demonstrated through human factors based design for the Defence industry. The research evaluated the potential of military equipped ergonomes originally developed for the gaming industry to defence. The methodology enabled consideration of the joint mobility restrictions of wearing military equipment in the marine environment. A royal marine was analysed using motion capture technology to assess the biomechanical implications of wearing body protection and associated equipment.

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