ERL, Ergonomic Research Laboratory

April 20, 2024
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ERL, LLC Company History

Historical Perspective

The medical and scientific communities have recognized since the 19th century that sitting in an improperly constrained posture for a long time is unhealthy and potentially damaging to the spine. Discomfort can lead to distraction in the task, and possible danger. To improve comfort in the seat for the driver and passenger, the seat must be designed to support a variety of spinal postures for all body sizes. To make this improvement, occupant loads on the seat must be appropriately supported. Thus, design tools must incorporate much medical, scientific and engineering knowledge.

ERL, LLC Milestones

Below are some of the highlights in ERL's history.

  • 2006: Validation of ERL Comfort Score.
  • 2006: Version 3.1 of ERL was released.
  • 2006: Patent awarded for "Design Template"
    (patent #7,047,831) a three-dimensional design template
    used for designing, evaluating, and measuring human occupant accommodation and seating in a seated environment.
  • 2005: Development of Objective Comfort Score.
  • 2005: Patent awarded for "Design Template"
    (patent #6,840,125) a design template for designing,
    evaluating and measuring human occupant accommodation
    and seat design, containing skeletal landmarks relative to a seated human body occupant.
  • 2005: Patent application for "System And Method For Designing A Seat" (patent pending).
  • 2004: Version 3.0 of ERL was released.
  • 2002: Article in Feb., 2002 Automotive Engineering Journal describes how ERL is part of a paradigm shift in the auto industry.
  • 2001: Version 2.0 of ERL was released; it is now being used to design new seats and diagnose problems with existing seats and seat designs.
  • 2001 & 2002: ERL, LLC receives The Michigan Investment and Commercialization Success Award from
    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  • 2000: In an agreement with MSU, ERL becomes a private company ERL, LLC, continuing with the same location, equipment, and employees.
  • 1995: MSU files patent application for design templates that model landmarks on the human body for several body postures and sizes.
  • 1994: Ergonomics Research Laboratory (ERL) founded at MSU with support from MSU and General Motors.
  • 1991-1999 General Motors supported MSU research in automotive driver ergonomics. over 125 people were studied under actual driving and passenger conditions and more than 250 subjects were measured in the lab.
  • 1986-1988 Johnson Controls, Inc. supported MSU research in automotive driver pelvic position.
  • 1977-1984 USAF supported Michigan State University (MSU) research in modeling the human spine in seated postures.

Copyright © 2002-2008 - ERL, LLC. All rights reserved.