Thomas K. Uchida

Thomas K. Uchida
University of Ottawa · Department of Mechanical Engineering

Ph.D.

About

50
Publications
51,576
Reads
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1,758
Citations
Introduction
My research interests include developing new methods for modeling and simulating dynamic systems, applying these methods to further our understanding of human movement, and disseminating powerful computational tools to accelerate discovery and improve health. I help develop and support OpenSim, open-source software for modeling musculoskeletal systems and generating simulations of human and animal movement.
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - present
University of Ottawa
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
April 2015 - August 2018
Stanford University
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Modeling and simulation of musculoskeletal systems
July 2012 - April 2015
Stanford University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Modeling and simulation of impact and rigid contact, musculotendon dynamics, and muscle energy consumption

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Tools have been used for millions of years to augment the capabilities of the human body, allowing us to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Powered exoskeletons and other assistive devices are sophisticated modern tools that have restored bipedal locomotion in individuals with paraplegia and have endowed unimpaired in...
Article
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Impacts are instantaneous, computationally efficient approximations of collisions. Current impact models sacrifice important physical principles to achieve that efficiency, yielding qualitative and quantitative errors when applied to simultaneous impacts in spatial multibody systems. We present a new impact model that produces behaviour similar to...
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Muscle-driven simulations of human and animal motion are widely used to complement physical experiments for studying movement dynamics. Musculotendon models are an essential component of muscle-driven simulations, yet neither the computational speed nor the biological accuracy of the simulated forces has been adequately evaluated. Here we compare t...
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Real-time simulation is an essential component of hardware- and operator-in-the-loop applications, such as driving simulators, and can greatly facilitate the design, implementation, and testing of dynamic controllers. Such applications may involve multibody systems containing closed kinematic chains, which are most readily modeled using a set of re...
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An algorithm for identifying parameters in dynamical systems is developed in this work using homotopy transformations and the single-shooting method. The equations governing the dynamics of the mathematical model are augmented with observer-like homotopy terms that smooth the objective function. As a result, premature convergence to a local minimum...
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Estimating kinematics from optical motion capture with skin-mounted markers, referred to as an inverse kinematic (IK) calculation, is the most common experimental technique in human motion analysis. Kinematics are often used to diagnose movement disorders and plan treatment strategies. In many such applications, small differences in joint angles ca...
Article
Objective: Development of walking assist exoskeletons is a growing area of study, offering a solution to restore, maintain, and enhance mobility. However, applying this technology to the elderly is challenging and there is currently no consensus as to the optimal strategy for assisting elderly gait. The gait patterns of elderly individuals often d...
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Static Optimization (SO) procedures are commonly used to estimate muscle forces and joint loads from kinematics and external force data. The method of modeling hand–mass interaction during lifting tasks may affect the kinematics and/or external forces applied to the model, yet the extent to which different modeling decisions affect the estimated sp...
Article
A harmonically excited, single-degree-of-freedom time-delay system with cubic and quintic nonlinearities is studied. This system describes the direct resonance of a ship with an actively controlled anti-roll tank (ART) that is subjected to beam waves. We consider low-, medium-, and high-freeboard ship models. A proportional-derivative (PD) controll...
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Motor variability in gait is frequently linked to fall risk, yet field-based biomechanical joint evaluations are scarce. We evaluated the validity and sensitivity of an inertial measurement unit (IMU)-driven biomechanical model of joint angle variability for gait. Fourteen healthy young adults completed seven-minute trials of treadmill gait at seve...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motor variability in gait is frequently linked to fall risk, yet field-based biomechanical joint evaluations are scarce. We evaluated the validity and sensitivity of an inertial measurement unit (IMU)-driven biomechanical model of joint angle variability for gait. Fourteen healthy young adults completed seven-minute trials of treadmill gait at seve...
Article
Many practical systems have inherent time delays that cannot be ignored; thus, their dynamics are described using delay differential equations (DDEs). The Galerkin approximation method is one strategy for studying the stability of time-delay systems. In this work, we consider delays that are time-varying and, specifically, time-periodic. The Galerk...
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Accurate computation of joint angles from optical marker data using inverse kinematics methods requires that the locations of markers on a model match the locations of experimental markers on participants. Marker registration is the process of positioning the model markers so that they match the locations of the experimental markers. Markers are ty...
Article
Many dynamic processes involve time delays, thus their dynamics are governed by delay differential equations (DDEs). Studying the stability of dynamic systems is critical, but analyzing the stability of time-delay systems is challenging because DDEs are infinite-dimensional. We propose a new approach to quickly generate stability charts for DDEs us...
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Dynamic models of physical systems often contain parameters that must be estimated from experimental data. In this work, we consider the identification of parameters in nonlinear mechanical systems given noisy measurements of only some states. The resulting nonlinear optimization problem can be solved efficiently with a gradient-based optimizer, bu...
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In this paper, we propose a pole-placement technique for second-order, time-delayed systems that combines the strengths of the method of receptances and an optimization-based strategy. The method of receptances involves solving an algebraic system of equations to obtain the closed-loop gains that place the poles of the system at desired locations....
Preprint
Full-text available
Many dynamic processes involve time delays, thus their dynamics are governed by delay differential equations (DDEs). Studying the stability of dynamic systems is critical, but analyzing the stability of time-delay systems is challenging because DDEs are infinite-dimensional. We propose a new approach to quickly generate stability charts for DDEs us...
Article
The dynamics of time-delay systems are governed by delay differential equations, which are infinite dimensional and can pose computational challenges. Several methods have been proposed for studying the stability characteristics of delay differential equations. One such method employs Galerkin approximations to convert delay differential equations...
Article
Many dynamic systems of practical interest have inherent time delays and thus are governed by delay differential equations (DDEs). Because DDEs are infinite dimensional, time-delayed systems may be difficult to stabilize using traditional controller design strategies. We apply the Galerkin approximation method using a new pseudoinverse-based techni...
Preprint
Full-text available
Delay differential equations (DDEs) are infinite-dimensional systems, so even a scalar, unforced nonlinear DDE can exhibit chaos. Lyapunov exponents are indicators of chaos and can be computed by comparing the evolution of infinitesimally close trajectories. We convert DDEs into partial differential equations with nonlinear boundary conditions, the...
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Movement is fundamental to human and animal life, emerging through interaction of complex neural, muscular, and skeletal systems. Study of movement draws from and contributes to diverse fields, including biology, neuroscience, mechanics, and robotics. OpenSim unites methods from these fields to create fast and accurate simulations of movement, enab...
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Wearable robotic devices can restore and enhance mobility. There is growing interest in designing devices that reduce the metabolic cost of walking; however, designers lack guidelines for which joints to assist and when to provide the assistance. To help address this problem, we used musculoskeletal simulation to predict how hypothetical devices af...
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Muscles attach to bones via tendons that stretch and recoil, affecting muscle force generation and metabolic energy consumption. In this study, we investigated the effect of tendon compliance on the metabolic cost of running using a full-body musculoskeletal model with a detailed model of muscle energetics. We performed muscle-driven simulations of...
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Adaptive reduced-order methods are explored for simulating continuous vibrating structures. The Galerkin method is used to convert the governing partial differential equation (PDE) into a finite-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) whose solution approximates that of the original PDE. Sparse projections of the approximate OD...
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Falling is the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury in the elderly, often requiring expensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. We study the stability of human balance during stance using inverted single- and double-pendulum models, accounting for physiological reflex delays in the controller. The governing second-order neutral delay d...
Article
Parameters for an electrochemistry-based Lithium-ion battery model are estimated using the homotopy optimization approach. A high-fidelity model of the battery is presented based on chemical and electrical phenomena. Equations expressing the conservation of species and charge for the solid and electrolyte phases are combined with the kinetics of th...
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We present an algorithm for determining the stability of delay differential equations (DDEs) with time-periodic coefficients and time-periodic delays. The DDEs are first posed as an equivalent system of partial differential equations (PDEs) along with a nonlinear boundary condition. A Galerkin approximation is then employed to discretize the PDEs i...
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Finite-dimensional approximations are developed for retarded delay differential equations (DDEs). The DDE system is equivalently posed as an initial-boundary value problem consisting of hyperbolic partial differential equations (PDEs). By exploiting the equivalence of partial derivatives in space and time, we develop a new PDE representation for th...
Article
The proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is employed to reduce the order of small-scale automotive multibody systems. The reduction procedure is demonstrated using three models of increasing complexity: a simplified dynamic vehicle model with a fully independent suspension, a kinematic model of a single double-wishbone suspension, and a high-fidel...
Article
Computational modeling and simulation of neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) systems enables researchers and clinicians to study the complex dynamics underlying human and animal movement. NMS models use equations derived from physical laws and biology to help solve challenging real-world problems, from designing prosthetics that maximize running speed to de...
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The ability of a multibody dynamic model to accurately predict the response of a physical system relies heavily on the use of appropriate system parameters in the mathematical model. Thus, the identification of unknown system parameters (or parameters that are known only approximately) is of fundamental importance. If experimental measurements are...
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Efficient dynamic simulation code is essential in many situations (including hardware-in-the-loop and model-predictive control applications), and highly beneficial in others (such as design optimization, sensitivity analysis, parameter identification, and controller tuning tasks). When the number of modeling coordinates n exceeds the degrees-of-fre...
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The optimum driving dynamics can be achieved only when the tire forces on all four wheels and in all three coordinate directions are monitored and controlled precisely. This advanced level of control is possible only when a vehicle is equipped with several active chassis control systems that are networked together in an integrated fashion. To inves...
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A two-passenger, all-wheel-drive urban electric vehicle (AUTO21EV) with four direct-drive in-wheel motors has been designed and developed at the University of Waterloo. An advanced genetic-fuzzy active steering controller is developed based on this vehicle platform. The rule base of the fuzzy controller is developed from expert knowledge, and a mul...
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A two-passenger, all-wheel-drive urban electric vehicle (AUTO21EV) with four direct-drive in-wheel motors has been designed and developed at the University of Waterloo. A 14-degree-of-freedom model of this vehicle has been used to develop a genetic fuzzy yaw moment controller. The genetic fuzzy yaw moment controller determines the corrective yaw mo...
Article
Despite the ever-increasing computational power of modern processors, the reduction of complex multibody dynamic models remains an important topic of investigation, particularly for design optimization, sensitivity analysis, parameter identification, and controller tuning tasks, which can require hundreds or thousands of simulations. In this work,...
Article
The objective of this work is to establish an online Library of Computational Benchmark Problems designed and solved by multibody dynamics researchers. This library will serve as a comprehensive reference for current and future generations of researchers and students. By sharing our computational experience, we will be aptly equipped to determine t...
Article
Two modelling techniques are commonly used to develop multibody representations of vehicle suspensions. The first technique is a high-fidelity geometric approach in which all of the suspension links are considered and their mounting points to the chassis and wheel carrier must be defined explicitly. The second technique involves using lookup tables...
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When modeled with ideal joints, many vehicle suspensions contain closed kinematic chains, or kinematic loops, and are most conveniently modeled using a set of generalized coordinates of cardinality exceeding the degrees-of-freedom of the system. Dependent generalized coordinates add nonlinear algebraic constraint equations to the ordinary different...
Article
Many mechanical systems of practical interest contain closed kinematic chains, and are most conveniently modeled using a set of redundant generalized coordinates. The governing dynamic equations for systems with more coordinates than degrees-of-freedom are differential-algebraic, and can be difficult to solve efficiently yet accurately. In this wor...
Article
A two-passenger all-wheel drive urban electric vehicle (AUTO21EV) with four direct-drive in-wheel motors and an active steering system has been designed and developed at the University of Waterloo. A novel fuzzy slip control system is developed for this vehicle using the advantage of four in-wheel motors. A conventional slip control system uses the...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the parameters in a mathematical model governed by a system of ordinary differential equations is considered in this work. It is assumed that only partial state measurement is available from experiments, and that the parameters appear nonlinearly in the system equations. The problem of parameter identification is often posed as an optim...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the parameters in a mathematical model governed by a system of ordinary differential equations is considered in this work. It is assumed that only partial state measurement is available from experiments, and that the parameters appear nonlinearly in the system equations. The problem of parameter identification is often posed as an optim...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of parameters in multibody systems governed by ordinary differential equations, given noisy experimental data for only a subset of the system states, is considered in this work. The underlying optimization problem is solved using a combination of the Gauss–Newton and single-shooting methods. A homotopy transformation motivated by...
Article
This paper studies the application of the Lie series to the problem of parameter identification in multibody systems. Symbolic computing is used to generate the equations of motion and the associated Lie series solutions automatically. The symbolic Lie series solutions are used to define a procedure for computing the sum of the squared Euclidean di...
Article
An electric vehicle model has been developed with four direct-drive in-wheel motors. A high-level vehicle stability controller is proposed, which uses the principles of fuzzy logic to determine the corrective yaw moment required to minimize the vehicle sideslip and yaw rate errors. A genetic algorithm has been used to optimize the parameters of the...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
design and Evaluate an assistive device (Prosthesis or orthosis) with optimal parameters to optimize gait parameters (e.g. Metabolic cost function)
Project
The main aim of this work is to successfully obtain solutions for the pole placement of time-delayed systems using Galerkin approximations with optimization-based techniques. The systems being studied have discrete as well as time-periodic delays. Using the Galerkin approximations the delay systems are converted into systems governed by ordinary differential equations using various mathematical applications. The time-delay systems are being designed in such a way that the delay is being maximized without destabilizing the system. The proposed theories are being validated experimentally using a rotary inverted pendulum, an inverted pendulum on a cart and a 3D-hovercraft