Studying balance and fall prevention. Developing more human-like robotic motion. Understanding human performance in simulated health care tasks.
These are just a few of the ways Virginia Tech researchers plan to use 16 donated motion capture suits to study body motion and injury prevention, thanks to Jamie Marraccini (electrical engineering ’93), founder, CEO, and president of Inertial Labs.
The suits are being distributed across three colleges, one institute, and eight departments at Virginia Tech and one lab at Radford University.
The suits are made of wires, soft fabric, and sensors that can be worn over clothes, and they capture human motion with stunning accuracy, unlike suits used in Hollywood productions with dots placed across the wearer’s body — known as “optical” systems — that are limited in the way they can capture motion.
Once wearers strap into the Inertial Lab “inertial” suit, they can move freely and flexibly, and can even capture motion underwater. Unlike optical suits, inertial suits need less data to record human motion because they capture the movement of joints directly, as opposed to optical suits, which track joint movement by comparing the distance from a user-designated origin point.
This makes the suit ideal for creating animations, testing for ergonomic studies, simulating military field training, and more.
Read the rest of my story and watch the video on either VT News or the College of Engineering website, and read the longer version of the story via Virginia Tech Engineer, the College of Engineering’s premier digital magazine