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Primary Publication
Mansouri, M.B. and Reinbolt, J.A. "A platform for dynamic simulation and control of movement based on OpenSim and MATLAB." Journal of Biomechanics, 45(8):1517-1521, 2012. (2012)  View

Numerical simulations play an important role in solving complex engineering problems and have the potential to revolutionize medical decision making and treatment strategies. In this paper, we combine the rapid model-based design, control systems and powerful numerical method strengths of MATLAB/ Simulink with the simulation and human movement dynamics strengths of OpenSim by developing a new interface between the two software tools. OpenSim is integrated with Simulink using the MATLAB S-function mechanism, and the interface is demonstrated using both open-loop and closed-loop control systems. While the open-loop system uses MATLAB/Simulink to separately reproduce the OpenSim Forward Dynamics Tool, the closed-loop system adds the unique feature of feedback control to OpenSim, which is necessary for most human movement simulations. An arm model example was successfully used in both open-loop and closed-loop cases. For the open-loop case, the simulation reproduced results from the OpenSim Forward Dynamics Tool with root mean square (RMS) differences of 0.031 for the shoulder elevation angle and 0.061 for the elbow flexion angle. MATLAB’s variable stepsize integrator reduced the time required to generate the forward dynamic simulation from 7.1 s (OpenSim) to 2.9 s (MATLAB). For the closed-loop case, a proportional–integral–derivative controller was used to successfully balance a pole on model’s hand despite random force disturbances on the pole. The new interface presented here not only integrates the OpenSim and MATLAB/Simulink software tools, but also will allow neuroscientists, physiologists, biomechanists, and physical therapists to adapt and generate new solutions as treatments for musculoskeletal conditions.