New Frontiers in Rehabilitation – Tel Aviv, July 2012

I was an invited speaker to the italian israel joint conference “New Frontiers in Rehabilitation – Technologies and Practice” held in Tel Aviv the 4th of july 2012. The event was organized by the italian embassy together with the University Roma La Sapienza by prof. Roberto Steindler and with the University of Tel Aviv by prof. Eli Carmeli and Michal Katz.

This was a great opportunity to share current researches, update our knowledge and investigate new opportunities in the field of engineering applied to health and rehabilitation.

I presented our work on the Garment based motion capture system that was developed for the VERITAS project and can be implemented in different fields including rehabilitation. The title of the talk was “Garment Based Motion Capture – high density capture of human shape in motion.

A summary of the talk in the following paragraph.

The system is a new, relatively low cost, apparatus for 3d reconstruction of human body shape, posture and motion, with high accuracy. The system is a passive multi-camera vision system; the target is requested to wear a special garment with over 3000 markers. A completely automatic software first computes 3d position of markers, then computes body limbs segmentation based on motion, and lastly joint position and internal angles, modeling human body shape, posture and motion. It was also developed a procedure for fast automatic calibration. The shape in motion is a variable not usually measured as far as the marker based systems use a limited numbers of them and the marker less methods assume a human model to fit on the visual data. This variable can give an estimation of the inertial parameters that are fundamental for the estimation of the joint torques. The presence of retro-reflectors is overcome. In this way the interference effect on the human gestures is minimized and also the problems of experimental repeatability and inter laboratories reproducibility. With respect to the kinect sensor, that is undoubtedly revolutionizing human motion/gesture capture, the system assures better accuracy and a more complete shape extraction. Can be used with fast cameras therefore acquiring motions in high dynamic. Preliminary tests have been provided and results are accuracy of ±4mm on marker position, ±2cm on joint position and ±2° on joint angle. The system was tested also for breath volume estimation with good preliminary results.

There are main advantages compared with the state of the art: to be able to monitor high acceleration gestures. The garment assure a better stability with respect to retro-reflectors; measurement of kinematics and shape; estimation of the limbs inertial parameters and therefore a better measurement of the torque joints; fast setup, it is enough to wear a garment that can be a one-piece suit or made with several pieces to be more wearable; measures lung mechanics by estimating chest volume variations also with subjects in generic postures.

We arrived in israel the day before starting from several italian airports and meeting in Tel Aviv about midday of the 3th of july.

Tel Aviv can be defined a modern seaside town with touristical, commercial and industrial character blended with a strong mediaterranean flavour.

The 5th we took a bus to reach Gerusalem for a visit to the pediatric hospital Alin and to the rehabilitation department of the hospital Hadassa.

Panoramic views, unfortunately my visit to the historical center was only from that far.

Nevertheless we had the time to have lunch near the market and to have a look around.

Gerusalem gave me the impression to be an incredible puzzle of history, cultures and traditions fused together but at the same time preserving original individualities.

After a visit to a colleague at the Sheba Medical Center in the afternoon some of us had the opportunity to visit Jaffa, the old arab town. Hereafter some nice photos of the historical centre.

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