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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences


The Faculty of Health Science features a series of biomechanics laboratories over two separate sites equipped with state-of-the-art equipment in which we carry out our cutting-edge research.

Motion analysis

Motion analysis has become a vital tool in the analysis of patient’s movement strategies and is integral to the research activities of the Faculty of Health Sciences. With state of the art equipment we can capture and analyse the large of movements of patient’s gait cycle to the small, intricate, and subtle movements of the hand and fingers.

Vicon motion capture systems

Housed in our Highfield campus laboratory, our Vicon system is one the highest specification systems in the country for health research. This enables us to capture the three-dimensional movement of walking, to the small intricate movements of the hand and fingers. Synchronised with our force platforms and EMG systems the system enables us to generate a complete biomechanical analysis of a patient’s movement strategies. We also have a second Vicon system which can be setup in other laboratories, or practical rooms, for capturing smaller movement tasks.

Vicon MX T-series Motion Capture System
6 x Vicon T160 (16 megapixel) cameras with near-infra-red strobes
6 x Vicon T40 (4 megapixel) cameras with near-infra-red strobes
Capture volume = 8m(l) x 3m(w) x 2m(h)
128 channel A/D board
2 x Reference video cameras
Vicon Nexus software
with Oxford model, OLGA and PECS plug-ins
Vicon Bodybuilder modelling software

Vicon 460 Motion Capture System
6 x Vicon Vcam cameras (1.4 megapixel).
32 channel A/D board
Vicon Workstation software

Coda motion capture system

Installed in our biomechanics laboratory at Southampton General Hospital the Coda system offers a chance to analyse human motion within a clinical environment. With its active-marker based technology data processing time is minimal. With an added portable Coda unit we are able take the system out of the lab and into a ward environment, or even a patient’s home, extending our research potential. With an integrated force platform and EMG systems biomechanical analyses are comprehensive and detailed.

Coda MPX30 motion capture system 

Force analysis

Synchronised with our motion analysis systems we have 3 Kistler piezoelectric force platforms which measure the ground reaction forces and moments as a person moves across them. This enables clinicians to fully assess the external forces acting on a person, to the internal muscle and joint contact forces via musculoskeletal modelling.

Our Highfield campus based laboratory has two platforms, synchronised with the Vicon motion capture system. One of these platforms is portable allowing us to reposition the platform to obtain data from activities such walking up and down stairs. Our third platform is installed at our laboratory in Southampton General Hospital is synchronised with the Coda motion capture system.


To assess the forces produced by the limbs as they rotate the school has a Biodex System 2 multi-joint testing system. By assessing the torque produced at a joint, clinicians and research are able to determine the strength of patient and assess the effectiveness of a training program or determine potential sources of injury. The dynamometer also has the ability to measure proprioception, the ability to determine where your limbs are in space, which provides researchers and clinicians an insight into the level of impairment. As well as being used an outcome measure the dynamometer can be used as rehabilitation tool providing an effective and safe method of training a patient through its isokinetic capabilities.

Motion & force analysis

At our Highfield based campus laboratory we are able to capture three dimensional movement such as gait analysis or intricacies of hand movement (see images and videos below)

Using motion capture, with ground reaction forces
Analysing the gait cycle
3D motion capture of the hand
Motion capture
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