The Biomechanics Research Building at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) houses the Division of Biomechanics and Research Development. The departments have state of the art research equipment used in biomechanics, sports science and device development including multiple motion capture systems.
In this video UNO is demonstrating how an inertial motion capture system (Xsens MVN Analyze) and head mounted eyetracker (Tobii Glasses2) can be used to analyze the biomechanics of unique sports.
Iaido and sports science
Iaido is a style of Japanese fencing that has roots in the sword styles of Japanese samurai. The traditional dress is integral to its performance. So devices like the MVN Awinda hardware allow better capture of the moments compared to marker-based motion capture. Like ballet, martial arts are very particular in their movements. The joint angles and movement patterns throughout the forms are very specific and linked to applications. In Iaido even the practitioners gaze is important; which is visible in the recording. Once recorded movements can be analyzed and used to coach the practitioner. A stance might have been too short, the angle of the sword may have resulted in a bad cut. These aspects can be quantified and improvement can be measured.
Challenges in motion capturing martial arts
Research into the bio mechanics of martial arts can be tricky. Contact between opponents or hitting surfaces can dislodge sensors or motion capture markers. The movement in the techniques themselves can make marker placement tricky. But as technology develops these applications become more practical.
The departments have state of the art research equipment used in biomechanics, sports science and device development including multiple motion capture systems, force plates, instrumented stairway, virtual reality, balance and strength assessment, electromyography, encephalography, 3D printing. This equipment is used in research involving basic biomechanics, motor control, device development, peripheral arterial disease, stroke, amputees, Parkinson’s, joint replacements, breathing disorders, exoskeletons and metabolics.
At UNO this equipment is regularly used for research into knee replacements and knee arthroscopy. The inertial sensors allow the research to be taken outside the laboratory into real-world environments. The eyetracking is used in research on the motor development of children and in virtual reality environments