Section: Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry

Cifre Faurecia

Participants : Franck Multon [contact] , Pierre Plantard.

This contract aims at developing new ergonomics assessments based on inaccurate Kinect measurements in real manufacturing conditions. 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 manufacturing sites and will then be spread worldwide among the 300 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, finished at the beginning of 2016, and defended his PhD in July 2016. This contract was the opportunity to demonstrate the impact of MimeTIC's work about in-site motion capture on ergonomic assessment, as a decision-support system for ergonomists. The software Kimea is one of the results of this collaboration. It is currently spread in the factories of Faurecia around the world, which demonstrates the maturity of this work for industrial transfer. The method has been published with ergonomic validation in the famous journal Applied Ergonomics (see Highlight section).