Section: Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry

Bilateral Contracts with Industry


Participants : Franck Multon [contact] , Pierre Plantard.

This contract aims at developing new ergonomics assessments based on inaccurate Kinect measurements in manufactures on real workers. The main challenges are:

  • being able to improve the Microsoft Kinect measurement in order to extract accurate poses from depth images while occlusions may occur,

  • developing new inverse dynamics methods based on such inaccurate kinematic data in order to estimate the joint torques required to perform the observed task,

  • and proposing a new assessment tool to translate joint torques and poses into potential musculoskeletal disorders risks.

Faurecia has developed its own assessment tool but it requires tedious and subjective tasks for the user, at specific times in the work cycle. By using Kinect information we aim at providing more objective data over the whole cycle not only for specific times. We also wish to make the user focus on the interpretation and understanding of the operator's tasks instead of taking time estimating joint angles in images.

This work is performed in close collaboration with an ergonomist in Faurecia together with the software development service of the company to design the new version of their assessment tool. This tool will be first evaluated on a selection of manufacture sites and will then be spread worldwide among the 270 Faurecia sites in 33 countries.

This contract enabled us to hire Pierre Plantard as a PhD student to carry-out this work in MimeTIC and M2S Lab. He started in January 2013 and will finish in December 2015.

In 2014, we have developed a testbench based on virtual humans in order to evaluate the expected accuracy of a Kinect sensor in work conditions: the Kinect cannot be placed at a location compatible with the provider's recommendation. This testbench enabled us to evaluate more than 500000 configurations (Kinect location and upper-limb poses) with a virtual mannequin and a simulated Kinect. It will help to design the most appropriate protocol according to the work condition and the poses used by the operators at workstation.