Ford Motor Company Building Digital Child Crash Dummies


Ford Motor Company is set to begin one of the world’s first research projects to build a digital human model of a child with lifelike re-creations of bones, internal organs and brains in order to enhance the company’s future safety research.

Researchers are constructing the digital model, as they did the adult version, component by component – brain, skull, neck, ribcage, upper and lower extremities, etc. After gathering data through medical scans as well as anatomical texts, the researchers will build the model section by section, recreating regions of the body from childrens MRIs and CAT scans in order to obtain child geometry and basic body information so they may better understand how crash forces affect children and adults differently.

The work is the next step in Ford’s decade-long research to build sophisticated and detailed computerized ADULT human models, with body parts and organs painstakingly replicated so that scientists could better understand what was happening to the adult human body in a crash. Researchers started the project after monitoring and studying injury trends for children, who are generally much more vulnerable in automobile crashes.

The components are created and then joined into a virtual human body, which is extensively validated. Then, using mathematical and analytical tools combined with available body data, researchers will be able to determine the effects of a crash as well as the pressure of a restraint system, on the body.


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