Biomechanics laboratories

Biomechanical and physiological evaluation of walking and running

The Biomechanics Laboratory within the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) forms part of the world-class Sport and Exercise Science research infrastructure at Footscray Park Campus in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

The Laboratory is recognised as a leading biomechanics-research facility in Australia and conducts world-class research in sport and gait biomechanics.

It is extensively equipped for data collection with human participants using:

  • three 3-D movement analysis systems
  • an AMTI force-plate embedded motorised treadmill
  • 8 stationary AMTI force plates.

Other apparatus includes:

  • a Noraxon EMG telemetry system
  • Pedar and F-scan in-shoe pressure measurement
  • body-mounted inertial sensor system
  • high-speed cameras
  • a virtual-reality environment for movement simulations.

Data processing is undertaken using Visual3D, Vicon Nexus and MATLAB platforms running on a dedicated computer network.

Lab staff

The Laboratory currently has:

  • four full-time academic staff 
  • a technical manager and technician 
  • 4 post-doctoral research fellows
  • 20 higher degree research students (PhD/Masters/Honours).

Research groups

The biomechanics lab supports the research of groups including: 

Laboratory facilities

The Victoria University Biomechanics laboratory was purpose-built to undertake state-of-art biomechanics research with applications to Sport, Gait and Balance.

The Laboratory occupies 436m2 with 11-metre high ceiling to accommodate high-jump athletics and overhead filming.

There is a 12m door incorporating an external runway with embedded force plates.

The facility has:

  • impact resistant walls
  • three 4m-by-4m data projection screens
  • an equipment control room.

The lab can be sub-divided into four spaces for concurrent use.

Kinematic measurement

Motion capture systems

Three-dimensional motion capture systems (and number available):

  • Vicon MX-T 40S camera system (14).
  • Vicon Bonita camera system (14)
  • Optotrak Certus (Northern Digital Inc.) motion capture system (9)
  • Photron SA3 and MC2 high-speed camera systems
  • Xsens MVN Biomech inertial sensor system for tracking 3D body segment kinematics directly.

Ground-reaction forces

Measurement of ground-reaction forces (and number available):

  • AMTI ground embedded force platform (8)
  • AMTI treadmill embedded force platform (1)

Foot pressure:

  • PKMAS walkway pressure mat for measuring foot centre of pressure and spatio-temporal parameters 
  • Pedar and Tekscan shoe insole system for measuring dynamic foot pressure distribution during gait

EMG & Virtual Reality

Electromyography (EMG)

Noraxon 16 channel telemetered and hard wired systems for measuring muscle activity.

Virtual Reality environment

Oculus Rift 3D goggles.

Analysis software

Sophisticated computerised analysis software:

  • Visual3D (C-Motion) software
  • Silicon Coach and Vicon Nexus
  • ProAnalyst (2D and 3D analysis)
  • Matlab, Labview
  • AnyBody Technology.