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20 cameras with infrared light offers unique opportunities for motion analysis. The result is a three-dimensional image of the object. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Large-scale lab provides unique opportunities

Published: 4 February 2015

20 cameras with infrared technology contributes to a unique test site, which is one of the largest in Europe. – This opens up a whole new field of research issues, says Thomas Gustafsson, Professor and holder of a chair in Control Engineering.

20 cameras with infrared light interacts for optimal analysis of the object's movement patterns.

To use infrared technology to analyze motions is nothing new. But this specifik Motion Caption Lab differs when it comes to size. 20 cameras offers unique opportunities for motion analysis and will be a valuable addition to the research subject's Field Robotics Lab.

– This is fantastic important for our Field Robotics Lab, says Thomas Gustafsson.

– It is a unique set of cameras in terms of number. Therefore, we get a large volume of the test site and can also have enormous good precision.

Control Engineering at Luleå University of Technology  Photo: Linda Alfredsson
The research subject Control Engineerin expands its Field robotics lab with a new facility for motion analysis. Thaker Nayl, back row from left, Rickard Nyberg, Anas Alhashimi, Emil Fresk, Dariusz Kominiak and Fredrik Broström. Bottom row from left: Lasse Roren, ProPhysics, Switzerland, Ulf Andersson, Thomas Gustafsson and George Nikolakopoulos. Photographer: Linda Alfredsson

Test site for large vehicles

The 20 cameras can be mounted up to 50 feet tall tripods and thereby form a test site on 80 times 80 meters. This means that the analysis can be done outdoors on large moving objects, such as mining machinery, cars and forestry vehicles, as well as on smaller items. The items are supplied with reflectors that the infrared cameras capture. With the help of advanced software, the information is converted into a three-dimensional image.

– So far, for example, we could only guess how a tire behaves during ground contact. Now we can get the key and in doing so improve the internal design of the vehicle, Thomas Gustafsson explains .

On the object whose motion pattern is to be analyzed, reflectors are put that are captured by the infrared technology.

New research opportunities

Hopefully, the new large-scale system of the Field Robotics Lab, will result in new collaborations with several different industries and areas of research. This can involve everything from automotive and mining industry to robotics research and health sciences in form of physiotherapy challenges.

The Motion Caption Lab has been supported by grants from Luleå University of Technology's lab fund and Kempestiftelsen. 


Thomas Gustafsson

Thomas Gustafsson, Professor and Head of Subject, Chaired Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491323
Organisation: Control Engineering, Signals and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering