Volume 52 Number 2, 2015
Pages 221 — 234
Abstract — Motek Medical's Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN)-Extended system is a virtual environment primarily used in physical rehabilitation and biomechanical research. This virtual environment consists of a 180 degree projection screen used to display a virtual scene, a 12-camera motion capture system, and a 6 degree of freedom actuated platform equipped with a dual-belt treadmill and two force plates. The goal of this article was to investigate the performance characteristics associated with a "treadmill-motion platform" configuration and how system operation can affect the data collected. Platform static and dynamic characteristics were evaluated by translating or rotating the platform over progressively larger distances and comparing input and measured values. Treadmill belt speed was assessed with and without a person walking on the platform and at different orientations. Force plate measurements were examined when the treadmill was in operation, during ambulation, and over time to observe the baseline drift. Platform acceleration was dependent on the distance travelled and system settings. Treadmill speed variability was greatest at faster speeds. Force plate measurements were affected by platform and treadmill operation, contralateral impact forces during gait, and baseline drift. Knowledge of performance characteristics and their effect on outcome data is crucial for effective design of CAREN research protocols and rehabilitation scenarios.
Key words: 6 DOF, acceleration, biomechanics, CAREN, dual belt, force plate, gait, motion platform, treadmill, virtual reality.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2015 10:23 AM