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Xsens transforms 3D human motion capture into wearable technology

Published: 18 February 2015 - Marianne Evans

A technology best known for bringing animated characters to life in games and films is changing how human movement is studied in research and industry.

The new MVN Biomech system from Dutch technology innovator Xsens transforms 3D human motion tracking into a wearable technology that can be used on production lines, sports fields, in vehicles and aircraft, in the home or any location where human body movement needs to be analysed with high accuracy.

The system has a host of applications in ergonomics and human machine interaction (HMI), biomechanical analysis, rehabilitation, wearables development and sports science.

“Xsens’ systems are now considered the de-facto industry standard for human motion measurement. They are well established with trailblazers in entertainment, research and industry,” explained Per Slycke, CTO and general manager at Xsens. “MVN Biomech is moving inertial motion tracking to the next level by taking it from research laboratories to where the action is. Combined with reduced pricing, this means that digitising 3D motion is now accessible to a much wider user base.”

MVN Biomech comes either as a full-body suit or a strap-based system. It is intuitive and can be set up for use anywhere, within minutes. Based on lightweight, wearable inertial sensors, MVN Biomech is highly portable, fitting into an average-sized backpack.

Xsens has a 15-year track record in inertial motion measurement and MVN Biomech represents the third generation of its full-body motion tracking system. The company’s clients include some of the world’s leading universities and research institutes, major industry players such as NASA, Bosch and Daimler, and entertainment companies like EA and 20th Century Fox.

The underlying technology is proven to be accurate, reliable and robust. It has been used by more than 250 universities, research organisations and enterprises for over 1000 projects, including numerous validation studies.

Gabriele Bleser, a researcher at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), stated: “The new Xsens MVN Biomech system provides a lightweight and comfortable way to capture motion accurately. With its very small and light sensors, it offers excellent wearing comfort. It’s quick and easy to calibrate, impressively stable, and the precision of the translational tracking based on inertial sensors is amazing.”

Daniel Dinu at France’s National Institute of Sport, highlighted: “The evaluation of an athlete’s performance is one of the main issues for coaching and biomechanical analysis in sports. The MVN Biomech system with its wearable, lightweight sensors allows me to conduct my basketball, shot-put and tennis research anywhere, without constraining athlete’s activities. It provides fast visualisation of motion patterns and feedback, without any need for post-processing, and delivers accurate and proven data.”

The system channels wireless sensor data through biomechanical models and sensor fusion algorithms before visualising them in real-time in Xsens’ own MVN Studio Biomech software or in application-specific packages.

MVN Biomech is available now from Xsens and its international distribution partners, with prices starting from €20 000.

Source: Micro Matters

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