OpenSim enables researchers to model not only human motion, but also the movement of robotic systems.  Researchers around the world are developing human-like robots, which can be prototyped and simulated during motion with the tools available in OpenSim.  Further, engineers are designing robotic systems to assist the motion of humans.  This human-robot interaction can also be simulated.

Walk This Way: Simulating human-like robots with the aid of OpenSim.


Researchers from the Department of Management and Engineering at the University of Padova in Italy, including Massimo Sartori and Monica Reggiani, are using OpenSim to simulate humanoid robots. Their current robot, called Robovie-X, moves using a set of motors. The next generation robot will be powered by a set of artificial muscles.

As a first step, the researchers, working at the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab collected data about humans moving. They are using this data to generate EMG-driven simulations of movement. From these simulations, they can determine the forces that humans use to generate a motion. As a next step, they are developing algorithms, with the help of OpenSim, that use the estimated human muscle forces to calculate forces for the robot’s “muscles” that will make it perform the same motion. These videos shows the OpenSim version of Robovie-X in action:

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Dynamic Simulation of Humanoid Robots

Massimo Sartori
Monica Reggiani
University of Padova