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Marshall biomechanics students present research at national conference

Two Marshall University biomechanics students presented their research at the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB) annual meeting this summer in Knoxville, Tennessee. The annual meeting attracts researchers, students, and industry experts from across the country. Among the contributions were poster presentations from William Moynihan and Jeromy Miramontes, two biomechanics students at Marshall.

William Moynihan’s Innovation in 3D Motion Capture

The focus of Moynihan’s research was on refining the 3D Direct Linear Transformation (DLT) method for motion capture.

When using the 3D DLT method, “the calibration video and the trial video must be recorded using exactly the same viewing angle or errors will make the data unusable,” Moynihan said. “I was surprised to hear these corrections are not typically made before reconstructing the 3D coordinates. With encouragement from Dr. Konz and Dr. Leigh, I decided to design a computer program that can apply 2D affine transformations to correct misaligned marker sets so that the data is usable.”

His hypothesis was straightforward: such corrective measures would drastically reduce 3D reconstruction error.

“We found that not only is the resulting error comparable to that of reconstruction without camera bump, but the correction also works equally well for any change in camera position or orientation,” Moynihan said. “This means that we can collect 3D DLT motion capture data outside of the lab without losing trials to minor camera bumps.”

Looking ahead, Moynihan is wrapping up his thesis and working as a contractor for Sportsbox Inc., a company specializing in sports analytics apps that use AI to construct and analyze 3D models of athletes’ movements, helping them improve their form and performance. He’s set to join them full-time in January next year.

Jeromy Miramontes on the Trail of Perfecting Athletic Performance

Jeromy Miramontes brought a unique perspective to the ASB meeting, thanks to his background as a competitive obstacle course racer. Miramontes aimed to validate the results of force-sensitive insoles against traditional force platforms by comparing data collected in lab settings to data gathered from outdoor trail runs.

“We hypothesized that force-sensitive insoles would provide similar kinetic data to a force platform, and the kinetic data would be different in a lab setting compared with an outdoor trail. Our results confirmed our hypothesis,” Miramontes said. “The insoles showed similar kinetic data, with the only difference being lag time from the insoles due to the cushioning of the shoe not efficiently propagating force. Also, running outdoors showed a different running coordination pattern.”

Miramontes is now completing a thesis focused on limb coordination during rock climbing and is also in talks with semi-professional soccer teams about using insoles and other data collection methods to improve players’ performance.

Shaping the Future of Biomechanics

The students and program faculty are grateful for the opportunity to share Marshall’s research activity at the conference.

“By Marshall allowing students the opportunity to present their research at conferences, such as ASB, it highlights their talents and hard work, and the capacity of our program on the national stage,” shared Dr. Suzanne Konz, the Biomechanics program director.

For more information on the Biomechanics Program, visit https://www.marshall.edu/biomechanics/.

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