Research Tools

This page highlights many of the tools used in our research on the biomechanics, energetics, and control of bipedal locomotion. The Locomotion Research Laboratory is part of the Movement Science program in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.

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Motion Capture: A high speed camera system is used to track the motion of reflective markers placed over the segments and joints of interest. This provides a complete time-history of the motion of the major body segments.

Force Measurement: Force plates are used to measure the forces generated between the subject and the environment. Together with motion data, this allows us to compute the internal forces and moments acting on the body.

Modeling and Simulation: Dynamic models of the musculoskeletal system are created and analyzed using a combination of software tools including OpenSim, Simbody, SIMM, and Autolev .

Electromyography: Muscle activation timing and amplitude are monitored using small electrodes placed on the skin over the muscles. This gives additional insight as to how muscles are contributing to a movement.

Energy Expenditure: Metabolic energy consumption is estimated non-invasively from measurements of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production .

Magnetic Resonance & Ultrasound: The structure and function of the musculoskeletal system is determined on living subjects using a combination of magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and ultrasound .