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Markerless motion capture offers a new angle on tennis injuries
Date:1/17/2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio A new approach to motion capture technology is offering fresh insights into tennis injuries and orthopedic injuries in general.

Researchers studied three types of tennis serves, and identified one in particular, called a "kick" serve, which creates the highest potential for shoulder injury.

The results, published in a recent issue of Annals of Biomedical Engineering, could aid sports training and rehab, said Alison Sheets, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University.

With further development, she added, doctors could use her "markerless motion capture" technique to diagnose patients.

"The potential for markerless motion capture in medicine is vast and exciting, because it can quantify how a person moves without the need to attach electronic markers or other equipment to their body," Sheets said. "People can move naturally, and in a natural setting outside of a laboratory."

Traditional motion capture technology works by attaching markers to a subject's skin or clothing and tracking them as the subject moves, she explained. The markers can emit an electronic signal or reflect light, and the associated wiring and other equipment can limit or otherwise influence people's movement. Moreover, the tracking has to take place in a laboratory setting, where lighting and background are carefully controlled.

Sheets and her colleagues are working to do away with the markers and take motion capture out of the laboratory.

For a project at Stanford University where Sheets was a postdoctoral researcher before coming to Ohio State she was part of a team that designed a system of eight video cameras that record a person's movements at the same time, each shooting from a different angle.

A computer program combines the images to identify the 3D volume and shape of the person in each video frame. By comparing this shape to precise body measurements of the
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Contact: Alison Sheets
Sheets.203@osu.edu
614-247-6367
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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