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Digital dancer a model for motion science

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 - 02:27

June 27 - Researchers at MIT have re-created Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle in digital form to study the capabilities of motion technology. The scientists say that in the future, motion sensors and scanners will be able to find potential health problems before they become apparent to the naked eye. Ben Gruber reports.

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On the right of the screen is Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle. On the left is a base model of his digital avatar which scientist at MIT created by capturing Bolle's motions through sensors he is wearing all over his body. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM PRUDEN, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, MIT, SAYING: "We need to start understanding the body a little bit better and what better way than through dance." Pruden says motion sensor technology will soon be able to give us new insight on how our bodies move. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM PRUDEN, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, MIT, SAYING: "Once you digitise movements you can simplify it down to these pixels you can analyse it in a more mathematical, computerised way." Using information transmitted by the sensors, and by recording Bolle's dance with both high and low speed cameras, the MIT team was able to re-create the ballet star in digital form. Carlo Ratti, the director of the SENSEable City Lab at MIT, says the digital Bolle gives the physical Bolle a window on to how he moves and may be a tool the ballet star can use when analysing his dance techniques. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARLO RATTI, DIRECTOR OF SENSEABLE CITY LAB, MIT, SAYING: "You can see it as a way to better understand your movement, to monitor different things about yourself, but also to empower people. To give them information about the way they behave, the way they move and how they might change things." Ratti and Pruden both say the research has implications for everybody, not just famous dancers. They say motion sensors in the home or office could one day be programmed to monitor our health. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARLO RATTI, DIRECTOR OF SENSEABLE CITY LAB, MIT, SAYING: "In a certain sense health is definitely and application, you know, can we actually get to the point where we do not need to get ill, but we can understand it soon enough to take action when we see that something has started to get wrong with our body. And yes we are getting there." Pruden points out another benefit from this research. By re-creating Bolle in digital form, science has ensured that his graceful moves will last forever. Ben Gruber, Reuters.

Digital dancer a model for motion science

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 - 02:27

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