Results for tracking simulations and predictive simulations of unassisted and assisted gait using different cost functions.

License: Simulation Results

Software packages that use optimization to predict the motion of dynamic systems are powerful tools for studying human movement. These "predictive simulations" are gaining popularity in parameter optimization studies for designing assistive devices such as exoskeletons. The cost function is a critical component of the optimization problem and can dramatically affect the solution. Many cost functions have been proposed that are biologically inspired and produce reasonable solutions, but which may lead to different conclusions in some contexts. We used OpenSim Moco to generate predictive simulations of human walking using several cost functions, each of which produced a reasonable trajectory of the human model. We then augmented the model with motors that generated hip flexion, knee flexion, or ankle plantarflexion torques, and repeated the predictive simulations to determine the optimal motor torques. The model was assumed to be planar and bilaterally symmetric to reduce computation time. Peak torques varied from 41.3 to 79.0 N·m for the hip flexion motors, from 48.0 to 94.2 N·m for the knee flexion motors, and from 42.6 to 79.8 N·m for the ankle plantarflexion motors, which could have important design consequences. This study highlights the importance of evaluating the robustness of results from predictive simulations.

Please cite the following publication:

Nikoo A, Uchida TK. Be careful what you wish for: Cost function sensitivity in predictive simulations for assistive device design. Symmetry 14(12): 2534, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14122534