In 2006, CHOP researchers led by Kristy Arbogast, PhD collaborated with TK Holdings Inc. (Takata Corp.), Rowan University, and University of Virginia researchers to develop a low-speed human volunteer sled to test pediatric subjects. The team designed a crash sled to mimic the safe “crash” experienced by children and adults when they ride an amusement park bumper car. It is the first effort to test pediatric subjects in this manner and has allowed the research team to collect the only known data on the kinematics and kinetics of restrained 6- to 14-year-old pediatric human volunteers in low speed impacts. This data set from these safe crash tests represents a valuable and unique source for comparison of human and anthropomorphic test device (ATD) response.
Capable of delivering up to 4 g’s of acceleration to volunteers from six years of age through adult, the sled buck can be rotated to allow for frontal, near-side, far-side, and rear impact tests. Data are collected using motion capture technology that tracks movement from external markers on volunteers or ATDs.
In addition to the main studies funded by TK Holdings, the crash test sled has been used in several studies funded through the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), allowing researchers to compare the movement of child and adult volunteers’ heads, necks, and spines during a bumper car’s safe crash to the same body regions on pediatric ATDs. By identifying key kinematic differences across ages and between humans and ATDs, priorities for design improvement to the ATDs have been identified.
This image shows the kinematic comparison of the Q6s ATD (top) and exemplar 6-year-old volunteer (bottom) at initial position, mid-motion, and maximum excursion in a lateral low-speed impact. At mid-motion, the Q6s exhibited lateral head rotation, whereas the volunteer's head remained upright.
- Arbogast KB, Balasubramanian S, Seacrist T, Maltese MR, García-España FJ., Hopely T, Constans E, López-Valdés FJ, Kent RW, Tanji H, Higuchi K. Comparison of Kinematic Responses of the Head and Spine for Children and Adults in Low-speed Frontal Sled Tests. Stapp Car Crash Journal. Nov. 2009;53:329-72.
- Arbogast KB, Locey CM, Bohman K, Seacrist TS. Relative Kinematics of the Shoulder Belt and the Torso: Comparison of the Q10 ATD and Pediatric Human Volunteers. IRCOBI Conference Proceedings. Sept. 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Arbogast KB, Mathews EA, Seacrist T, Maltese MR, Hammond R, Balasubramanian S, Kent RW, Tanji H, St. Lawrence S, Higuchi K. The Effect of Pretensioning and Age on Torso Rollout in Restrained Human Volunteers in Far-side Lateral and Oblique Loading. Stapp Car Crash Journal. Oct. 2012;56:443-67.
- Mathews EA, Balasubramanian S, Seacrist T, Maltese MR, Sterner R, Arbogast KB. Electromyography Responses of Pediatric and Young Adult Volunteers in Low-speed Frontal Impacts. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. Oct. 2013;23(5):1206-14.
- Samuels M, Reed MP, Arbogast KB, Seacrist T. Modeling Spinal Trajectories in Dynamics Testing Using Basis Splines: Application to tracking human volunteers in low-speed frontal impacts. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering. 2016;19(10):1046-52.
- Seacrist T, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR, García-España FJ, Lopez-Valdes FJ, Kent RW, Tanji H, Higuchi K, Balasubramanian S. Kinetics of the Cervical Spine in Pediatric and Adult Volunteers During Low Speed Frontal Impacts. Journal of Biomechanics. Jan. 2012;45(1):99-106.
- Seacrist T, Balasubramanian S, García-España FJ, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB, Lopez-Valdes FJ, Kent RW, Tanji H, Higuchi K. Kinematic Comparison of Pediatric Human Volunteers and the Hybrid III 6-Year-Old Anthropomorphic Test Device. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. 2010;54:97-108.
- Seacrist T, Locey CM, Mathews EA, Jones DL, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. Evaluation of Pediatric ATD Biofidelity as Compared to Child Volunteers in Low-speed Far-side Oblique and Lateral Impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention. Oct. 2014;15(Supplement 1):S206-14.
- Seacrist T, Mathews EA, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. Evaluation of the Hybrid III and Q-series Pediatric ATD Upper Neck Loads as Compared to Pediatric Volunteers in Low-speed Frontal Crashes. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Nov. 2013;41(11):2381-90.
- Seacrist T, Saffioti J, Balasubramanian S, Kadlowec J, Sterner R, García-España FJ, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR. Passive Cervical Spine Flexion: the effect of age and gender. Clinical Biomechanics. 2012;27(4):326-33.
- Seacrist T, Samuels M, García-España FJ, Arbogast KB, Mathews EA, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Longhitano D, St Lawrence S. Kinematic Comparison of the Hybrid III and Q-Series Pediatric ATDs to Pediatric Volunteers in Low-Speed Frontal Crashes. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. 2012;56:285-98.