On May 25, 2018, the OpenSim team is conducting an interactive tutorial through the features of OpenSim that allow you to model and simulate human-robot interaction. The OpenSim software package has become a central tool in studying human movement and pathology. As interest in wearable robotics increases, so does the need for simulation tools to understand and predict the interaction between humans and robots. This 3-hour hands-on Matlab tutorial includes building your own model from scratch, simulating a jumper model, increasing jump height with an assistive device, and maximizing the jump height of the assisted jumper model through a competition and with numerical optimization.

The workshop does not assume experience with OpenSim, but participants should be familiar with Matlab.

Preparing for the workshop

We will conduct the workshop using a beta version of OpenSim 4.0 libraries (the GUI is not included). To ensure the workshop starts smoothly, please set up and test this beta version before the workshop. We will allocate only 5 minutes during the workshop for set up; if you do not have OpenSim set up after this time, we'll ask you to pair up with someone.

Software requirements

  • Windows 10 (64-bit) or Mac (macOS 10.10 or later)
  • Matlab 2014b or later (64-bit)
    • optional: Optimization Toolbox and/or Matlab Global Optimization Toolbox.


  1. Download the OpenSim beta software and workshop files:
    1. Windows
    2. Mac
  2. Unzip the files to a location of your choice; perhaps C:\opensim-core-dw2018 (on Windows).
  3. If you use Windows, edit your PATH environment variable to include OpenSim’s bin directory (e.g., C:\opensim-core-dw2018\bin). See here for instructions. Make sure to remove any previous OpenSim installations from your PATH (alternatively, rename the folder containing the previous OpenSim installation).
  4. Configure OpenSim with Matlab by starting Matlab and running configureOpenSim.m, located in Resources/CodeExamples/Matlab/.
  5. After the script completes, restart Matlab and test the configuration by checking the timestamp from running 




     in the Matlab command window; the date should be in May 2018. Test that the visualizer is working by running the following:


    >> m = org.opensim.modeling.Model()
    >> m.setUseVisualizer(true);
    >> m.initSystem();

    You should see an empty visualizer window.

Note for OpenSim 3.3 users: You cannot concurrently use OpenSim 3.3 and 4.0 in Matlab; to switch versions you must re-run configureOpenSim.m and edit your PATH environment variable.


Here is a video of the workshop:

Here are the slides from the workshop: