As an undergraduate in Sport Technology BSc (Hons) at Sheffield Hallam University, Shirley Acquah-Davis has a strong interest in human locomotion. Her desire to gain experience working with biomechanical technologies led Shirley to a placement with Target3D where she led a project investigating the effect of fatigue on the biomechanics of three-point shooting within basketball players.

Shirley explains the mocap technology she used and shares highlights of her results…

My aim was to investigate the effect of fatigue on the biomechanics of three-point shooting within basketball players. I considered a branch of biomechanics called kinematics; these variables describe motion. Using the OptiTrack motion capture system I could use the tracking data captured to calculate kinematic joint angle data during the post data analysis process. Also, I considered surface electromyography (EMG), which enabled me to collect data on muscle function, and how it behaves within a fatigued state.

Firstly, I captured three basketball players performing free-throw and three-point shots. Although this didn’t entirely go to plan, I learnt a lot about how the motion capture system would function within a Basketball court environment as with the shiny floor and lighting it’s not a traditional motion capture space.

I used this experience to help design and conduct a case study around a professional basketball player. I tracked his upper body kinematics using the OptiTrack motion capture system and Delsys helped me out with providing the EMG equipment, the Trigno Avanti Sensors.

Integrating the Trigno Avanti sensor system with Motive 3.0 software allowed me to synchronise the EMG and motion capture data. Initially, this was very challenging as I had to get my head around the technical info about how the two systems work separately before figuring out how the different systems could run together during performance.