Human-Machine Systems

Topics and Focuses

In the field of human-machine systems, we research the interactions between a user and a technical system. From this, we develop methods on how human-machine interaction can be taken into account in user-centered product development. We focus in particular on technical systems in which the user is directly and continuously in flow of forces as well as flow of information. An example of such a technical system would be power tools. For this we develop methods for the acquisition and consideration of physical interaction between the system and user as well as methods to improve the subjective product perception. To illustrate these physical interactions, it is important to consider the active as well as passive characteristics of a human being. These include body stature, coupling forces or reaction forces, and effects of fatigue. Hence, we research physical human models, which are able to map the interaction between humans and a technical system with equivalent effects as well as to optimize a product with regard to user interaction. Furthermore, to improve subjective product perception and usability, we develop methods that support the developer in identifying and optimizing relevant design aspects. The research focus “human-machine systems” enables for the holistic development of technical systems under consideration of the user.

Definition of human-machine systems:

A human-machine system (MMS) is the targeted interaction between a human user and a technical system in order to effectively perform a given or self-selected human function through usage of the technical system (Johannsen 1993 and Timpe et al 2002).

Our Vision:

Service Offer

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  • Theoretical and experimental investigation of devices
  • Capture interactions between user, device and application environment
  • Development of validation methods for hand-held devices and device subsystems incl. development of test equipment.


  • Power tool interaction test bench for performing hand-held device tests
  • User interaction test bench for examining user properties
  • Automated power tool test bench for robot-controlled device validation
  • Portable capacitive pressure measuring foils for the measurement of forces between user and device
  • Force measurement technology in device handles for the measurement of forces between user and device
  • 6-axis force plate for measuring the application forces to the ground
  • Dust sensor for measuring application-related emissions
  • Mobile data acquisition system for data acquisition in the field
  • 3D scanner for reverse engineering on Power Tools
  • Fiber optic meter for detecting strain in power tool housings
  • 3D motion tracking system for capturing the user body posture and movement sequences during the use of devices

Further equipment of the institute can be found here.


Current theses of the research group can be found here.


Selected Publications

Einfluss der Produktreife auf die Bewertung der Anwendungseignung technischer Produkte
Trojan, K.; Germann, R.; Matthiesen, S.
2019. DS 98: Proceedings of the 30th Symposium Design for X (DFX 2019), 18-19 September 2019, Jesteburg, Germany. Ed.: D. Krause, 183–194, The Design Society. doi:10.35199/dfx2019.16
Adjustable Impedance Elements for Testing and Validation of Aircraft Components and Hand-Held Power Tools
Lindenmann, A.; Heyden, E.; Matthiesen, S.; Krause, D.
2019. Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung SSP 2019, Stuttgart, 16. Mai 2019. Hrsg.: H. Binz, 63–72, Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO 
The Rotational Mechanical Impedance of the Hand-Arm System - A Preliminary Study
Lindenmann, A.; Matthiesen, S.
2019. 14th International Conference on Hand Arm Vibration, Bonn, 21. - 24. Mai 2019. Abstracts, 75–76, Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV) 
Recognizing Product Application based on Integrated Consumer Grade Sensors: A Case Study with Handheld Power Tools
Dörr, M.; Ries, M.; Gwosch, T.; Matthiesen, S.
2019. 29th CIRP Design Conference: open design and design as exponential technology, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, 8th to 10th May 2019 
Experimental Abrasive Contact Analysis – Dynamic Forces between Grinding Discs and Steel for common Angle Grinder Applications
Dörr, M.; Zimprich, S.; Dürkopp, A.; Bruchmüller, T.; Gittel, H.-J.; Matthiesen, S.; Pelshenke, C.; Dültgen, P.
2019. 11th TOOLING 2019 conference & exhibition, Aachen, Germany, 12 - 16 May 2019 
Virtual Coupling of Powertrain Components: New Applications in Testing
Gwosch, T.; Steck, M.; Matthiesen, S.
2019. ASIM – Simulation technischer Systeme, Braunschweig, 21. Februar 2019 - 22. Februar 2019. Hrsg.: Umut Durak, Christina Deatcu, Jan Hettwer, 163–168, ARGESIM 
Eine qualitative Untersuchung der Reibungsverhältnisse und des Oberflächenverschleißes in schlagend angezogenen Schraubenverbindungen
Matthiesen, S.; Wettstein, A.; Sturm, C.
2018. Schraubenverbindungen 2018 - 6. VDI-Tagung, Würzburg, 21. - 22. November 2018, VDI Verlag 
Analysis of dynamic system behaviour using sequence modelling with the C&C-Approach - a case study on a power tool hammer mechanism
Matthiesen, S.; Wettstein, A.; Grauberger, P.
2018. Proceedings of NordDesign: Design in the Era of Digitalization, NordDesign 2018, The Design Society 
Adjustable impedance elements for testing and validation of system components
Heyden, E.; Lindenmann, A.; Oltmann, J.; Bruchmueller, T.; Krause, D.; Matthiesen, S.
2018. Book of Abstracts. Symposium Lightweight Design in Product Development (LWD-PD18), Zurich, CH, June 14-15, 2018. Ed.: Paolo Ermanni, 44–46, Laboratory of Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures (CMASLab) 
Anforderungen an ein Messsystem zur Ermittlung der Rotationsimpedanz von Hand-Arm Systemen
Matthiesen, S.; Lindenmann, A.; Bruchmüller, T.
2018. 7. VDI-Tagung Humanschwingungen 2018, Würzburg, 24.-25. April 2018, 91–106, VDI Verlag 
Modellbildung mit dem C&C²-Ansatz in der Gestaltung - Techniken zur Analyse und Synthese
Matthiesen, S.; Grauberger, P.; Hölz, K.; Nelius, T.; Bremer, F.; Wettstein, A.; Gessinger, A.; Pflegler, B.; Nowoseltschenko, K.; Voß, K.
2018. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). doi:10.5445/IR/1000080744Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Experimentelle Identifikation von Schwingungsursachen in Antriebssträngen von Power-Tools
Matthiesen, S.; Gwosch, T.; Bruchmueller, T.
2017. VDI Fachtagung Schwingungen 2017: Berechnung, Überwachung, Anwendung, Nürtingen, 10. - 11. Oktober 2017, 311–322, VDI Verlag 
Realitätsnahe Komponententests zur Unterstützung der Produktentwicklung bei der Validierung von Power-Tools
Matthiesen, S.; Gwosch, T.; Mangold, S.; Dultgen, P.; Pelshenke, C.; Gittel, H.-J.
2017. Konstruktion, 69 (7-8), 76–81 
Ansatz zur objektiven und effizienten Erfassung der empfundenen Anwendungseignung von Power-Tool
Matthiesen, S.; Germann, R.
2017. Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung SSP 2017, Stuttgart, 28.06.2017 - 29.06.2017. Hrsg.: Roth, Daniel, Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO 
Frontloading in der Produktentwicklung von Power-Tools durch frühe Validierung mit Hilfe von leistungsskalierten Prototypen
Matthiesen, S.; Gwosch, T.; Mangold, S.; Grauberger, P.; Steck, M.; Cersowsky, S.
2017. Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung 2017 (SSP 2017) : Produktentwicklung im disruptiven Umfeld, Stuttgart, Deutschland, 29. Juni 2017 Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Ein anpassbares Hand-Arm-Modell mit rotatorischem Freiheitsgrad zur Validierung handgehaltener Geräte
Matthiesen, S.; Mangold, S.; Zumstein, T.
2016. 6. VDI-Tagung Humanschwingungen 2016 : Würzburg, Germany, 26.-27. April 2016, 95–110, VDI Verlag 
A method to develop hand-arm models for single impulse stimulation
Matthiesen, S.; Mangold, S.; Schaefer, T.; Schmidt, S.
2015. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Hand-Arm Vibration. Ed.: X. Gao, Beijing University Health Science Center Capital Medical University 
The influence of the user on the power tool functionality -- a force sensing handle for a hammer drill
Matthiesen, S.; Mangold, S.; Bruchmueller, T.; Stelzer, D.; Truenkle, B.
2015. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Hand-Arm Vibration. Ed.: X. Gao, Beijing University Health Science Center Capital Medical University 
Der Mensch als zentrales Teilsystem in Wechselwirkung mit handgehaltenen Geräten - Ein problemorientierter Ansatz zur Untersuchung dieser Schnittstelle
Matthiesen, S.; Mangold, S.; Bruchmüller, T.; Marko, A. M.
2014. Design for X : Beiträge zum 25. DfX-Symposium. 25th Symposium Design for X, DFX 2014, Bamberg, Germany, 1. October - 2. October 2014, 193–204