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summary of responses: pressure platforms

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  • summary of responses: pressure platforms

    Dear Biomch-L readers,

    I appreciate all of the suggestions I received from members on my original
    pressure platform question. I received good feedback regarding simultaneous
    capture, particularly with the 3D box offered by RSscan. Others suggest
    using the VICON Datastation electronic trigger input for data
    synchronization. I have spoken with one group who are working on pressure
    collection via VICON analog inputs, however I do not believe any such
    solution is commercially available as of yet.

    I have also spoken with people at the companies themselves regarding various
    model specifications, and each have their own advantages depending on your
    application. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope the
    information below will also help others.

    Matt Walker
    Matthew R. Walker, MSc
    Biomechanical Engineer, Motion Analysis Laboratory
    Shriners Hospital for Children, Erie, PA


    We would appreciate suggestions on pressure platform (mat) systems,
    particularly your experience with Tekscan, Novel, and RSScan models. We
    will be looking at walking in children and potentially adults. General pros
    and cons of the resistive versus capacitive sensors used in these models
    would also be helpful. We are operating a VICON system - has anyone
    collected the pressure via analog output (ie. so that collected via
    Workstation in sync with all other channels), and then post-processed the
    data? Other suggestions for dealing with data synchronization with VICON
    and force plates?

    Previous biomch-l posts have posed similar questions - I am hoping for any
    new developments or additional insight:


    You may want to check out a publication by Hsiao, Guan and Weatherly carried
    on Ergonomics, 2002 (vol.45 No. 8, 537-555). The title of the
    publication is "Accuracy and precision of two in-shoe pressure measurement

    Jinhua Guan, Ph.D


    I'm the president of RSscan INTERNATIONAL.
    I'm glad that you have interest in pressures analyzing in synchronization
    with Vicon.

    The RSscan system is working with conductive polymer. The most used system
    is the 1m and 2m plate in combination if you want with a force plate (to
    have Dynamic calibration frame by frame). By using the 3D box you can
    synchronies every other system like EMG, Vicon ......

    The new software provide you calculations of the subtalor joint movements,
    the forefoot movements and the midfoot naviculaire movements. Frequencies
    up to 500Hz.

    Jempi Wilssens


    We have an EMED (SF4, Novel - 50 Hz) platform that we use in combination
    with a Vicon system (60 Hz). As far as I know it is not possible to collect
    the data from the platform using the analogue capture facility in the

    However, using the "first-contact" EMED setting, a trigger signal is
    generated with the first contact with the pressure mat. This can be used in
    combination with the Vicon post-trigger setting and the external trigger
    input in the Datastation to synchronise EMED and Vicon recordings.
    (post-trigger uses buffered data to enable captures starting a specified
    time before the trigger is received).

    Dr. Mark Thompson CEng MIMechE


    In our biomechanics lab at the Free University of Brussels, we use a 1m
    rsscan system on top of a .9m kistler force plate both connected to a Vicon
    612 system. The coupling between Vicon and RSscan is established through a
    coax cable that connects the J2 connector on the Vicon and the trigger in
    connector on the 3d-box. The latter is a special communication box from
    RSscan. On one hand it registers the data from the pressure plate and on the
    other hand it is able to communicate with different devices. This
    connection enables the synchronized measure from all devices. Since
    both the 3dbox and de Vicon system register force plate data, we used this
    data set to verify the connection. About 2200 trials were used to calculate
    the signal correlation between the force signals from the two systems. For
    all trials no delays found. If you want to know more, just let me know.

    Friso Hagman, MSc. MTD.


    I'm not really sure how you're going to connect one of these pressure
    systems to the analogue input of the Vicon - do they have analogue outputs ?
    I seem to remember the Vicon had a electronic trigger input, which you could
    use to sysnchronise the data capture for the two systems. You'll need to
    talk about that to the engineers from the two companies though.

    I'm really writing to offer help, if you need it, with the post-processing
    and getting data into the Vicon C3D file via a Pipeline PlugIn - something
    like the ASCII Import PlugIn. You can have a look at on my website,
    ( but I suspect it is too inflexible for you will want.
    I'm intending to release a 2nd version which is much more flexible, that
    would read say the ASCII output from one of the pressure systems.

    Timothy Pitt


    We have the RSscan system.
    It has several advantages
    - high spatial resolution
    - high temporal resolution
    - reasonable price
    - available at various sizes, up to 4 m (?)

    The main disadvantage is that pressure sensitivity shows a considerable
    decline with use. This can in part be compensated by
    combination with a force plate under the mat. If this is not possible, a
    correction is made on the basis of body weight. In any case,
    once or twice a year the resistive mat should be replaced, cost EUR 150,
    otherwise low pressures are no more recorded.

    In general the RS staff is very supportive, always willing to listen to your
    problems and to send you the newest software update.

    At Hof

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