Inverse kinematics is concerned with the determination of joint variables of a manipulator given its final position or final position and orientation. Posture prediction also refers to the same problem but is typically associated with models of the human limbs, in particular for postures assumed by the torso and upper extremities. There has been numerous works pertaining to the determination and enumeration of inverse kinematic solutions for serial robot manipulators. Part of these works have also been directly extended to the determination of postures for humans, but have rarely addressed the choice of solutions undertaken by humans, but have focused on purely kinematic solutions. In this paper, we present a theoretical framework that is based on cost functions as human performance measures, subsequently predicting postures based on optimizing one or more of such cost functions. This paper seeks to answer two questions: (1) Is a given point reachable (2) If the point is reachable, we shall predict a realistic posture. We believe that the human brain assumes different postures driven by the task to be executed and not only on geometry. Furthermore, because of our optimization approach to the inverse kinematics problem, models with large number of degrees of freedom are addressed. The method is illustrated using several examples.

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