Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

Development of an Active Motion Capture Suit for Teaching Motion Skills

Thesis by Georg Gerstweiler and Emanuel Vonach

Supervision by Hannes Kaufmann

Abstract

Current multimedia support for teaching and practicing motion skills is usually limited to video and two-dimensional graphics. Especially in areas like rehabilitation and sports the employment of virtual reality applications for educational purposes could offer considerable benefits, like a detailed real-time feedback about the training progress or the support of motivation and autonomy of the users. However for any virtual reality motion skill training system a means for motion input is essential. In particular application areas related to sports impose a number of special requirements that have to be considered. Most full body motion capture devices are either specifically designed for a certain application or not suitable for sports due to different reasons. For example in a lot of sporting activities it might be required to lie on the floor, perform rolls or make direct contact with other tracked persons. For that reason motion capture techniques where the user has to be equipped with relatively large devices could cause pain if making physical contact to hard surfaces like the floor. Furthermore matters like possible fast movements, sufficient freedom of motion and hygienic issues have to be considered as well. The authors show in the course of this work, that a motion capture suit with active infrared optical markers can be constructed to meet the special challenges of motion skill training. For that purpose they compile a wide range of related requirements and devise concepts to fulfill these needs. Subsequently these concepts are applied to construct a fully functional prototype, suitable for a broad range of sporting activities. In order to assess the performance of the active motion suit in an educational context and to demonstrate the potential of the employment of a virtual environment, the constructed input device is used in an actual virtual reality application for teaching motion skills. The active motion capture suit developed in this project is suitable for sports and rehabilitation, but not limited to these specific application areas. Most importantly the authors successfully accomplished to incorporate all required wiring and electronic components unobtrusive. Due to individually controllable markers the layout can be optimized for different setups and tracking algorithms.

Reference

G. Gerstweiler, E. Vonach: "Development of an Active Motion Capture Suit for Teaching Motion Skills"; Supervisor: H. Kaufmann; 188/2, 2011.

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