Section: Application Domains

Biomechanics and Motion Analysis

Biomechanics is obviously a very large domain. This large set can be divided regarding to the scale at which the analysis is performed going from microscopic evaluation of biological tissues’ mechanical properties to macroscopic analysis and modeling of whole body motion. Our topics in the domain of biomechanics mainly lie within this last scope. In order to obtain a better understanding of human motion, MimeTIC addresses three main situations: everyday motions of a lambda subject, locomotion of pathological subjects and sports gestures.

In the first situation, MimeTIC is interested in studying how subjects maintain their balance in highly dynamic conditions. Until now, balance have nearly always been considered in static or quasi-static conditions. The knowledge of much more dynamic cases still has to be improved. Our approach has demonstrated that, first of all, the question of the parameter that will allow to do this is still open. We have also largely contributed to gaining a better understanding of collision avoidance between pedestrians. This topic includes the research of the parameters that are interactively controlled and the study of each one’s role within this interaction.

The second situation focuses on locomotion of pathological subjects. When patients cannot walk efficiently, in particular those suffering from central nervous system affections, it becomes very useful for practitioners to benefit from an objective evaluation of their capacities. To facilitate such evaluations, we have developed two complementary indices, one based on kinematics and the other one on muscle activations. One major point of our research is that such indices are usually only developed for children whereas adults with these affections are much more numerous. Finally, in sports, where gesture can be considered, in some way, as abnormal, the goal is more precisely to understand the determinants of performance. This could then be used to improve training programs or devices. Two different sports have been studied: a) the tennis serve, where the goal was to understand the contribution of each segment of the body on the speed of the ball and b) the influence of the mechanical characteristics of the fin in fin swimming.

After having improved the knowledge of these different gestures a second goal is then to propose modeling solutions that can be used in VR environments for other research topics within MimeTIC. This has been the case, for example, for collision avoidance.