The development of Fusion Motion Capture (FMC) by Massey University PhD student Matthew Brodie has some broad implications for sport. Though initially focussed on enabling biomechanical analysis of ski racing, Brodie’s FMC system is worn by the athlete and promises much for the understanding of many sports. Unlike traditional biomechanical analysis which uses video cameras, FMC, using a range of inertial sensors, pressure pads and GPS attached to the athlete’s limbs, helmet and feet to generate raw data from the athlete’s movement. The numbers are then crunched by a computer to produce accurate estimates of the position, velocity and acceleration of the limb segments. Indeed, FMC can be reasonably expected to eventually offer a much deeper understanding of biomechanics for any sport, with particular benefits for sports such as long distance running, cycling, rowing, mountain biking, yachting, skating and even to analyse movements that are normally hidden from view, such as behaviour inside a rugby scrum. FMC almost certainly has other applications, such as postural and gait analysis, an interface for computer games, motion capture for the film and games industry and to provide a visual biomechanical analysis of an athlete playing any sport to enhance the experience of the television audience. Click here for a simple video explanation of FMC.
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