04 Sep 2023
You may have seen from our recent rollout of Cortex 9.2 that we’re focused on delivering better digital integrations for our customers. In this blog, we’re going to talk more about the intuitive Noraxon integration with Cortex for easy and accurate motion capture to better understand complex biomechanics data.
Noraxon is a leader in the field of biomechanics research and human movement metrics, offering a combination of software and hardware to record and measure both 2D and 3D human motion.
Electromyography (EMG) measures underlying muscle responses in relation to nerve stimulation during movement. Noraxon’s Ultium EMG sensors monitor muscle activation and synchronize with inertial measurement units (IMUs), which are able to map a dynamic range of motion during exercise. IMUs add another real-time method to measure 3D movement, used for validation studies and particularly to track activities that require high velocity (such as baseball pitching, for instance).
Noraxon’s myoRESEARCH® gathers biomechanics data from various sensory devices, then feeds it into one easy-to-use interface. In our case, Cortex takes data from Noraxon’s EMG and IMU sensors, which can be recorded alongside the 3D motion capture data provided by the Cortex system. This seamless integration provides you with a holistic high-level overview of why movements in the human body occur the way they do.
This workflow can be applied in a range of use cases, from sports training and improving athletic performance to rehabilitation and physiotherapy, or gait pattern analysis.
Both sensor types are wearables attached to a test subject. The Ultium EMG sensor is applied to the skin using an electrode, which then monitors how and when muscles get activated during exercise. The data can be used to identify if there are certain imbalances or weaknesses on one side of a body, or to understand whether the intended muscle is being activated by tracking electric signals between the brain and subsequent bodily motion.
The other sensory device, the Ultium Motion System, uses wearable IMU-based sensors to see how a body moves around in a 3D space, where the tracked data can be visualized in graphs or as a skeletal avatar. Noraxon’s IMU sensors are useful in that they are portable, able to perform motion capture in any space outside of a laboratory setting and without using cameras. This could highlight the biomechanical differences from a subject performing in indoor or outdoor environments.
To use the Noraxon integration, the only requirement is to be up to date with Cortex 9.2, which has been tested with the latest version of Noraxon’s myoRESEARCH® software.
Once Ultium EMG and IMU sensors are added to the Motion Analysis system, with cameras connected and calibrated, Cortex will start the data collection having already been linked to the present EMG and IMU sensors. It takes the push of a button to record motion capture and get a comprehensive singular view of both Noraxon and Cortex data—this integration aims to make initial setup and motion capture as fluent as possible, where the software guides you throughout the process.