How it Works:

GruntSim is a biomechanics and physiology simulation tool for burden management that resulted from a five-year, $8.6 million project called Enhanced Technologies for Optimization of Warfighter Load (ETOWL), which was awarded to the Virtual Soldier Research program by the U.S. Navy. The purpose of the GruntSim project was to create simulation tools for the study of load carriage by military personnel.

GruntSim can conduct trade-off analyses of load carriage in terms of agility, survivability, human performance, and physiological assessments by programming Santos with specific height and weight data for each person, loading Santos with gear selected from a menu of some 160 items, and having Santos perform various warfighting scenarios. Depending upon the stress experienced for each task, Santos’s spine, knees, ankles, and other joints will flash green for low stress, yellow for moderate stress, or red for high stress.

GruntSim product support

Behind the Research:

Portrait of Karim Abdel-Malek

Karim Abdel-Malek, PhD
Director, Iowa Technology Institute
Director, Virtual Soldier Research Program
Professor, Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering
(319) 335-5676

Karim Abdel-Malek is professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa. He holds appointments in Department of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences and serves as director of the University of Iowa Technology Institute. 

An internationally recognized leader in the field of digital human modeling and simulation, he founded and directs the Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) program, which produced the digital human model Santos. Santos is now being used by all branches of the US military and by many industry partners for various research projects and purposes. The VSR team has received international attention and continues to expand into applications in sports, medicine, and manufacturing.