An Automated Modeling and Simulation Tool for Lightening the Load of Warfighters

Period of Performance: 08/17/2009 - 04/07/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

VizTek, Inc.
1910 South Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Iowa
2 Gilmore Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
Institution POC


Today s Warfighter often carries an inordinate load that can lead to injuries and encumbered performance. Equipment is distributed among squad members with little, if any regard for differences in strength and anthropometry. Consequently, the current focus on human-centric design requires a modeling and simulation tool that can reduce the load Warfighters carry and can help distribute equipment among squad member more efficiently. This, in turn, increases effectiveness, saves money, saves time, and saves lives. Viz-Tek and The University of Iowa s Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) Program have experience and expertise tailored to providing precisely this kind of tool. The proposed research will leverage VSR s long standing partnerships with the U.S. military and industries, and will center around SantosTM, which is a complete, high fidelity, autonomous digital human who predicts posture, motion, strength, muscle fatigue, physiological indices, and more. Phase II of this work will provide professional easy-to-use software with three primary functions: equipment distribution, equipment simulation, and Warfighter (human) simulation. The proposed research and development is based on these goals and involves five main components: 1) squad optimization, which includes the automatic selection of equipment for a mission, and the automatic distribution of equipment among individual squad members, 2) motion prediction, which involves simulating motion of an individual squad member, 3) equipment simulation, which predicts how various pieces of equipment interact with the human body and with other pieces of equipment, 4) integration of the squad optimization component, the human modeling component, and the equipment modeling component, and 5) development of an intuitive interface appropriate for field use as well as lab use. The final product will be used in a lab on a PC as well as in the field on a hand held device.