In the Biomechanics Lab, we are focused on developing a low cost video capture system and analysis tools for biomechanics sudies. Traditional video capture systems and force plates cost from $20,000 to $100,000 which is prohibitive for most medical clinics, athletic trainers, coaches, veterinarians, prostheticians, etc. This work aims to develop an accessible system that will help these service providers be more effective in 1) diagnosis and treatment of injuries or other medical issues and 2) athletic assessment of gait, running stride, swing, etc. The system can also be potentially used by engineers to help design more effect prosthetics and other equipment.

UCCS students have developed the video capture system and all the supporting software from scratch. On the left is a frame from a video (e.g. taken on a Smart phone), where MATLAB code has been used to track the blue and green markers on the subject. The circles around the markers show the estimate of the centroid of the marker from the in-house tracking software. The figure on the right compares the vertical ground reaction force (i.e. the normal force) that is computed from the video data (green line) and compares it to the force measure from a digital balance (red line). With a very inexpensive system we are able to accurately compute this force, and also the internal forces in the joints of the subject. Check out the movie of the tracking software in action.

The executable files for the tracking software are available for Windows and Mac . These zipped folders contain a README file with instructions for downloading and installing the software. The user manual will assist with using software and step you through and example with these videos. Please drop me an email to let me know how you are using the tool and if you have any suggestions for improvement.

The Biomechanics Lab gratefully acknowledges NASA Space Grant for some of its funding. This is an educational program to help prepare young engineers for the workforce. The Colorado chapter of the program is headquartered in Boulder with several affiliate institutions across the state, including UCCS.

See Prof. Steve Tragesser in Osborne A429 (stragess@uccs.edu, 719-255-3353) for information on how you can get involved.