Virtual Humans

Short Description:

In this teaser trail, we will introduce you to digital human models and their many applications in the innovative field of the Internet of Things. The digital modeling of human characteristics holds con-siderable challenges for interdisciplinary research as well as enormous potential for the develop-ment of innovative applications. Fields of applications are, among others, human-machine interac-tion, the simulation of individual human models in virtual reality, and emotion-sensitive assistance systems.


Prof. Dr. Guido Brunnett, Technical University Chemnitz

Target Group(s):

Representatives from politics and business; research institutions; start-ups

Partners from Research, Industry:

Name Role Contact Person
TU Chemnitz Competence Center ‘Virtual Humans’ Research and coordination Prof. Dr. Guido Brunnett (Sprecher)
Institute of Mechatronics Research Heiko Freudenberg
Business incubator network SAXEED Consultancy and mentoring Joseph Stephens
3DInsight GmbH Application Stephan Rusdorf
imk automotive GmbH Research and development, application Dr. Wolfgang Leidholdt
Plavis GmbH Application

The stations of the trail are the labs of the members of the competence center at the TU Chemnitz. The trail is available all year round by arrangement.

Value Proposition:

Digitization is progressing in many areas of life. Computers and the Internet have created new business opportunities and led to a fundamental change in almost all areas of society. Due to the development of the Internet of Things and, in particular, Industry 4.0, we can expect further changes in the future. However, humans remain a key factor in the future course of technological development. On the one hand, technological advances increase the opportunities for interaction between people and technology, and on the other, people’s demands on technical systems are also increasing. In order to take into account the human factor in the digitization of our world, digital human models prove to be a central subject of development.

We are in need, however, of digital human models that combine a significant number of human characteristics and represent these characteristics in a realistic manner. This is a precondition for an effective use of digital human models, for example, in the simulation of human activities in virtual reality or for the intuitive and human needs-centered control of technical systems. Using various prototypes, the Virtual Humans Trail can demonstrate that digital human models are a central component of trendsetting applications of the Internet of Things.

In addition, the trail shows how knowledge and technology transfer is made possible by interdisciplinary and application-oriented research.

This trail is of particular interest to companies and research organizations active in the following areas: virtual and augmented reality, virtual product development and marketing, safety research, workplace ergonomics and work process planning, human-robot interaction and assistance systems.


The duration of the trail is half a day.


The Virtual Humans Trail introduces visitors to the research aspects and applications of digital human models during a lecture. Subsequently, researchers will present a selection of prototypes in the labs of the partners. A network meeting, in which the participants can discuss possible co-operations, closes the trail.

The Smart Virtual Worker

An efficient and ergonomic workplace will become increasingly important in the future due to demographic change and the associated shortage of skilled workers. In contrast to the simulation of machines and automated logistics in factories, planning software offers hardly any possibilities to simulate human activities in a realistic way and without high costs.

The Smart Virtual Worker is a prototypical software that allows you to perform a work process evaluation using artificial intelligence and a complex digital human model. The assessment works partially automated and is grounded in established methods of work science. It analyzes the work process concerning ergonomic criteria, efficiency and emotional stress. Our software will allow small and medium-sized enterprises, who cannot afford conventional solutions, to make use of work process assessments.

Custom-tailored Virtual Worker

In virtual reality (VR), the reality and its physical properties are rendered in a computer-generated, interactive virtual environment. However, applications in the VR will only be convincing if the human characters are realistic and custom-made. The Competence Center has the technical as well as the professional competence to create custom-tailored digital human models. With the help of a 3D body scanner and a motion capturing system, our researchers can digitally create and animate individual persons.

Human-Machine-Interaction: Gesture- and pose recognition

For an intuitive and human-centered human-machine interaction, it is essential that machines recognize human beings, their movements, poses and gestures. Without these skills, for example, robots can neither communicate effectively with people nor operate in the immediate vicinity of humans.
The competence center has specialists in motion detection and gesture-based interaction. For example, researchers of the project Human-Robot Cooperation have defined a set of command ges-tures that the robot recognizes as control commands. This enables us to communicate with a robot intuitively and without contact.

Current Projects:

Opportunities for Projects and Funding Instruments:

The Competence Center Virtual Humans is a platform for planning and conducting research and development projects. The competence center brings partners together, who wish to carry out joint projects. If necessary, it identifies suitable funding opportunities. Furthermore, the competence center supports scientists in knowledge and technology transfer to industry.

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