Motion Capture Laboratory
The motion capture laboratory in WMG has the facilities to track the movement of people and objects in 3D space to an accuracy of 0.5mm. The lab uses the latest Qualisys Miqus 3D video camera system, with 10 cameras distributed around the room. Using reflective markers attached to the person or object that is being tracked, the cameras measures and reconstructs the 3D motion in real-time at up to 300 frames per second.
Using this system, we are able to feed realtime measurements of people’s movements into virtual reality (VR) environments. This allows full interaction with virtual environments, with an individual’s whole body being mapped into that environment. The facility has both HTC Vive and Occulus VR headsets along with a Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headset.
The extended lab has a 14m walkway to capture people’s walking over a number of gait cycles, or alternatively, their continuous walking/running can be captured using a low-profile rehabilitation treadmill. An indirect calorimetry system further allows accurate measurement of energy expenditure whilst participants complete movement tasks.
These facilities are complemented by portable wearable devices, including motion sensing inertial measurement units (as found in smartphones/fitbits to measure the number of steps you’ve walked, and drones to measure their orientation and remain stable), ECG for measuring heart responses and EMG for measuring muscle responses.
At the Institute of Digital Healthcare, we are researching data and technology driven solutions for healthcare. Much of our work uses these facilities for researching new technologies around orthopaedics, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Examples of some of our projects using these facilities include:
- Virtual reality avatars for physiotherapy and rehabilitation. We are investigating whether virtual avatars can be used to provide guidance on physiotherapy exercises outside of the clinic. We are using the motion capture system to accurately capture physiotherapy exercises and mapping these movements on to the virtual avatar. Our experiments involve measuring how well people can follow and mimic the movements of the avatar. See our latest paper in pre-print here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1906.09850.
- Measuring pelvic tilt for optimised hip replacement surgery. Recent research has revealed that people due to have a replacement hip require more accurate planning of the positioning of the implant if their pelvis shows large changes in tilt angle between different positions (e.g. standing, laying down, sitting) due to an increased risk of dislocation. Our research is investigating the development of a rapid screening tool to estimate pelvic mobility. Using a wearable sensor device, we have achieved high correlations to measures obtained using x-ray. Using this new device will avoid the need to screen all patients using x-rays, which would take up significant time and resources. See our recent press release here: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_pelvis_motion/.
A lot of our research is in collaboration with commercial partners developing healthcare technology solutions. This can involve developing algorithms for new (often wearable) sensing devices or validating the accuracy of the technology. We use our highly accurate 3D motion tracking facilities as a way of validating these new algorithms or providing labelled reference data in their development. We are keen to work with commercial partners in this area and can assist with both algorithm development and validation.