Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision
(CS 528)

The Computation of Human Movement

Dinesh Pai
November 28, 2005, 4:15PM
Hewlett (TCSeq) 200


Human movement appears to be as easy as child's play. Yet it has proved to be astonishingly difficult to reproduce its elegance and robustness in either computer animation or robotics. Good computational models of human movement are also critically important in neuroscience, bioengineering, and medicine.

I will describe ongoing work in my lab towards developing constructive models of human movement. I will first provide a brief introduction to the human musculoskeletal system, its neural control, and its interaction with the physical environment.

I will then describe how natural human movement with contact can be unobtrusively measured using a technique we call ``interaction capture.'' We simultaneously measure contact forces and limb movements at a high rate and estimate task-specific impedances used by human subjects. This information can be immediately used for computer animation, and it generalizes the widely used motion capture retargeting techniques to the important class of movements with contact.

Finally, I will describe a new approach to constructing detailed physical models of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, using fiber-like 3D elastic elements we call ``muscle strands.'' The strand model offers the efficiency of line-based muscle models and more realistic handling of neural control and mechanical constraints.

(Joint work with Kry, Sueda, and Wei).

About the Speaker

Dinesh K. Pai is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University. Previously, he was a Professor at the University of British Columbia and a fellow of the BC Advanced Systems Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His research interests span the areas of computer graphics, robotics, multisensory integration, and the neural control of movement. See for more details.


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