The VSR Program Announces Strategic Collaboration with VICON Motion Systems

Virtual Soldier Research vsr at
Tue Aug 24 16:08:14 PDT 2004

The Virtual Soldier Research Program Announces Strategic Collaboration with 
VICON Motion Systems

Iowa City, IA (August 24, 2004) – The Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) 
program at The University of Iowa’s College of Engineering today announced 
a strategic collaboration with VICON, the leading developer in motion 
capture systems.  Using VICON’s advanced optical motion capture technology, 
the VSR program will conduct research on real-time interaction with virtual 
humans, with motion capture data of human subjects being applied to 
validate mathematical results for human motion prediction.

VSR research will use VICON real-time motion capture to drive virtual 
humans in a digital world to support the US Army Transformation vision for 
Future Combat Systems, where digital mockups are evaluated early during the 
design cycle. VICON’s motion capture system will also be used for tracking 
weapons and equipment in a virtual reality environment for training, 
maintainability analysis, and human factors studies.  Via the 
collaboration, the VSR program acquired an advanced setup for motion 
capture, software and hardware, and will serve as a beta testing site for 
VICON’s most recent research in cameras, optical technology, and tracking 

“The use of VICON’s motion capture system will allow us to drive, in real 
time, the motion of Santos, our intelligent virtual human.  VICON’s 
accurate cameras and advanced software will enable us to resolve 
long-standing issues in the field of digital human modeling and 
simulation,” said Dr. Karim Abdel-Malek, Director of the VSR program at The 
University of Iowa.

“We are very excited to participate in this project. VSR represents a 
leading edge use of animation, game, and motion capture technology applied 
into the world of human factors engineering,” said Jon Damush, Business 
Development Manager, VICON. “By using animation techniques traditionally 
applied in entertainment, VSR is producing results that are not only 
quantitative – the data that is usually generated in engineering 
applications – but also qualitative in the form of high-quality rendered 
output to truly visualize the way that real soldiers might react on the field.”

About VSR
The VSR program is an independent research group within the Center for 
Computer-Aided Design (CCAD), The University of Iowa.  This 
eight-month-“young” program, funded primarily by the US Army TACOM, 
conducts basic and applied research for creating new technologies dealing 
with digital human modeling and simulation.  TACOM and the industrial 
design industry, in general, are looking for ways to eliminate building 
extremely expensive, real-world prototypes.

VSR’s objective is to create autonomous, digital humans that can answer 
human-factors questions in the virtual world environment. The University of 
Iowa researchers (faculty, staff, scientists, engineers, clinical 
researchers, and graduate students) from various fields including 
engineering, gaming, psychology, biomechanics, human factors, computers, 
optimization, and industrial design have come together to create this new 
technology. The development and use of autonomous, virtual soldiers that 
can experience computer-modeled versions of proposed vehicles and weapons 
systems in the virtual world - and then provide feedback on the designs – 
brings eliminating the need for producing real-world prototypes for human 
factors research several steps closer to reality.


VICON Motion Systems is a subsidiary of OMG plc (LSE: OMG) with global 
headquarters in Oxford, UK, and US headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. OMG 
subsidiary 2d3 Ltd. produces innovative visual geometry software deriving 
3D data from moving images. Since 1984, VICON has been providing 
professionals with the latest tools to accurately capture the subtleties of 
three-dimensional human motion for research, medicine, sport, engineering, 
game development, broadcast and film. For more information about VICON, or 
to view a comprehensive list of worldwide distributors, visit 
<> or contact +44 (0) 1865-261800 in the 
UK or (949) 472-9140 in the US.

Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) Program
Center for Computer Aided Design
Iowa City, IA. 52242
Tel: (319) 335-5722
Fax: (319) 384-0542
vsr at 
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