What I love about this blog from Analog Devices’ Marketing Program Manager, Howard Wisniowski, is that it starts with the simple idea of making human motion smarter through technology. Last year I broke my ankle while running (avoiding a truck and I fell in a ditch…but I digress). If I had the inertial motion technology described below, perhaps I could have avoided injury and be a smarter, more efficient runner. Think it’s science fiction, a la Bionic Woman? Nope. As this blog will tell you, the technology is here and is being applied in very real-world examples that will revolutionize the way we interact with our environment, thanks to the MEMS inside. Enjoy -- Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group.
November 28, 2011 -- Whether it’s keeping athletes in top form, improving navigation in medical robots, helping industrial operators extend factory equipment life, or preventing automotive rollovers, high-performance micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) inertial sensing technology adds a new dimension that transforms many conventional applications.
Recently, a leading Dutch scientific research center, Roessingh Research & Development (RRD) began using the Xsens MVN system (developed by Xsens Technologies B.V.), to study rowing kinematics and the associated implications for competitive rowing. This system combines Analog Devices’ iMEMS inertial sensing technology with XSENS’ sensor fusion algorithms and biomechanical models to produce accurate 3D movement and kinematic output. In this application, the MVN system is being used to provide coaches with comprehensive, accurate information about the movement, timing and behavior of individual rowers or assembled rowing teams. The iMEMS’ inertial sensors enable the application of advanced motion tracking technology to competitive rowing in ways previously unexplored.
For example, the system is equipped with 17 motion trackers (MTx) containing more than 80 high-performance ADI inertial sensors and 17 Blackfin DSPs (digital signal processors, also supplied by ADI). The inertial sensors integrate proprietary sensor designs with high-performance signal processing technology to precisely measure both linear rate and angular rate motion. In the RRD pilot studies, rowers wore the Xsens MVN system while rowing for 20 minutes on the water. The data was rendered via the Rowing Coach Assistant (RCA) a software application built by RRD to precisely replicate the real-time 3D movements of the rowers. This method included real-time wireless recording of 3D angular velocity, linear acceleration and earth magnetic field vector of 1 inertial sensor module on each body segment. The accurate and detailed rowing cycle data analysis of RCA provided the RRD research team with clear live visualization of coordination issues.
In rowing, an oarsman depends on his/her technical skills, coordinative abilities, physical shape and motivation. Optimizing the technical skills and coordination of the rower is a key element for maximum power and endurance. Rowing coaches can use this information during training to optimize and correct movements and reduce the risk of injury to the rowers.
iMEMS and Blackfin are registered trademarks of Analog Devices.
Chris Baten at C.Baten@RRD.nl
Colleen Monaghan at Colleen.Monaghan@xsens.com
Howard Wisniowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
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