Scientists from France and Russia Announce the Creation of a Joint Laboratory of Digital Human Movement

It is planned to open the laboratory at a Sports Science Research Centre of South Ural State University in 2019. Within the frameworks of this project a hardware and software complex will be developed, which will include digital twins of human beings, to make possible the determining of individual optimal movement patterns for achievement of high sports results. The creation of a kinematic movement model of a certain athlete based on his/her digital twin will allow to figure out individual training programmes for him/her, as well as will improve the efficiency of post-traumatic rehabilitation.

Key project partners have been involved in collaboration with SUSU: University Paris Sud 11, France; P.F. Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Healthcare; and AO Sarapulskiy radiozavod radio manufacturing plant. The supervisor of the new international laboratory on behalf of France, Professor Guillaume Laffaye, believes that the future project is an ambitious, high-technology and diverse one.

“We’re facing a global challenge in solving the problem of doping drugs through improving the efficiency of training thanks to using scientific developments. The idea of creating a mathematical model for the purpose of optimizing the athletic performance and developing the rehabilitation programmes is a great foundation for research studies. Part of the project dealing with the rehabilitation programmes is also in the very heart of my scientific interests,” stresses one of the world’s leading specialists in sports and biomechanics, Mr. Laffaye. “I’m conducting research in the field of health problems (identifying the risk of falling of the elderly, and implementing of technologies for mitigation of such risks) and giving consultations to enterprises regarding the issues of preventing the risks of the musculoskeletal system diseases. As to the latter, it’s a very important part of the laboratory project, which is related to postural balance when seated and in the upright position, as well as to implementing relevant technologies.”

The initial plan of the laboratory development comprises several stages, and the crucial one among them is the designing of a mathematical model of movement of a human being (in the upright position/when seated, walking, running), that is, his/her digital twin.

“A digital twin is required to be used as a basis for creation of a software complex with the function of numerical modelling of human kinematics based on multi-level neural network, which is being widely used in advanced research in sports and medicine. Next, we’re planning on creating a digital kinematic model for diagnostics and further rehabilitation of spine and joint disorders, and prevention of athletic injuries,” explains Vadim Ehrlich, Director of the Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service of South Ural State University.

Scientists assume that the research results will be widely in-demand at scientific-and-educational and medical institutions as an instrument for developing individual rehabilitation programmes, at sports federations and clubs for improving of athletic performance based on personalized recommendations on the correction of the training process, as well as will be used as a basis for engineering/manufacturing of devices for prevention and treatment of spine and joint disorders, of a new class of devices for “24-hour monitoring of the musculoskeletal system”, of technologies of manufacturing tailor-made and “energy-efficient” shoes, and tailor-made chairs/armchairs, etc.

It is planned to launch the hardware and software complex with the function of numerical modelling of human kinematics into batch production by the year of 2025. The total cost of the project will amount to about 27 mln. roubles.

Oksana Kuvakina
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