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Application of neural networks to integrated ergonomics


Ergonomics is an important technology in the effort to
remain competitive. It is increasingly a selling point of
products and a major factor in productivity of
workplaces. Testing the physical ergonomics of systems is
costly, time consuming and current methodologies offer no
guarantee of transferability of results. However failure
to go through this process can result in a product that
is not competitive or even usable. If it were possible to
extrapolate and interpolate to many configurations of a
workplace from a limited number of training
configurations then testing would become quicker and
cheaper. If it were possible to take the results of a
previous test campaign and know how far they could be
considered applicable to a completely new product then
even more money could be saved.

ANNIE will take human movement data from ergonomics
experiments and use neural net computing to calculate how
the test subjects would have moved in other
circumstances. The application of this powerful computing
paradigm to human movement data analysis promises to cut
time and effort in ergonomics testing and the development
of a common methodology for these experiments, when made
available at a European level, offers the opportunity to
bring industrial R&D in this area across the continent up
to the highest level.

A considerable part of the effort will be given over to
obtaining user requirements from outside the group of
partners directly involved in the project. In this way
the resulting system will be more industrially relevant
and the performance of the work at a European level can
be most productive. From the start the researchers will
concentrate on industrially relevant scenarios while
applying the strictest possible experimental and
scientific rigour. The combination of industry and
academia with deep knowledge of ergonomics and
biomechanics will temper each other.

At the end of the project the software and methodology
system will be already applicable to genuine industrial
problems and at the same time open and flexible enough to
expand in the future.

Call for proposal

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Alenia Aerospazio Un'Azienda Finmeccanica SpA
EU contribution
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Via Saccomuro 24
00131 Roma

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Participants (8)