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Siemens and Xsens develop super-advanced motion-capture technology

Siemens and its partner company Xsens have developed a new technique which makes “lab quality motion capture a reality in the workplace”. 

The companies they achieved this through “a deeper integration, improved anthropometric avatar matching, and significantly improved tracking accuracy”, which further empowers enhanced ergonomics analysis outside of the lab.

Xsens is a specialist developer of professional 3D motion tracking technology. 

The new innovation is part of its update of its ergonomics analysis “Jack” software in the Tecnomatix portfolio and the Process Simulate solution in the Tecnomatix portfolio.

This technology is developed by Siemens PLM Software, a leading global provider of product lifecycle management software and services, and its Tecnomatix portfolio, the industry-leading digital manufacturing software.

The updated integration between Xsens and Siemens PLM Human Simulation and Ergonomics software will enable even more flexible motion capture and world-class data collection outside of the lab.

Integration enhancements

The new update sees numerous feature enhancements across both the Xsens and Siemens PLM Software portfolios, strengthening the overall power of these combined technologies:

Enhanced scaling model

The ability to precisely match the Jack or Jill avatars to the human subject tracked with the Xsens application has been augmented.

This improved anthropometric match between the human model and the subject being analyzed means a significant improvement in tracking accuracy and therefore deeper, more true-to-life research results.

Improved tracking accuracy

Greatly improved tracking accuracy in the Xsens software makes for more portable and flexible in-field data acquisition than ever before.

A new way to review and edit data

Tecnomatix enhancements include the ability to read motion capture data directly into the simulation environment, enabling users to easily review and edit the captured data, and use it to quickly build full simulations for further analysis.

The Xsens Analyze Engine

This new update comes alongside the ability for Tecnomatix users to capture in any environment without regard for magnetic distortion, thanks to the Xsens Analyze Engine – a new motion capture solution tailored to the ergonomics and workplace analysis industries.

Data captured by the Analyze Engine is not affected by magnetic distortion in capture environments; a drawback encountered by previous iterations of the technology.

This makes motion capture in manufacturing facilities more accessible than ever.

Siemens PLM Software users can now capture task analysis of real humans in a more diverse range of authentic workspace environments with greater anthropometric accuracy.

Such analyses include, but are not limited to, injury risk, user comfort, reachability, energy expenditure, fatigue limits, time study review, process verification, and facility layout design.

Hein Beute, director of product management for Xsens Technologies:, says “Our partnership with Siemens PLM Software means we can offer our customers one of the most open digital manufacturing solutions available today.

“Users can now access best-in-class data accuracy and performance in industrial environments. Ergonomists and engineers can enter a new world of ergonomics analysis.

“They can access features in the field that were previously restricted to the laboratory, enabling major developments in workplace health, safety, and efficiency.”

Human simulation software from Siemens PLM software

The Tecnomatix portfolio from Siemens PLM Software offers human simulation technology via a comprehensive suite of ergonomic analysis tools, designed to help manufacturing companies improve the safety, efficiency and comfort of workplace environments.

Using biomechanically accurate digital human models, Siemens PLM Software users can analyze workplace environments with virtual avatars driven by data captured via MVN Analyze and Xsens MVN systems.

Combining motion capture with human simulation technology enables analyses focusing on process and product design to be evaluated using the movement of real people, thereby improving the overall accuracy.

As Tecnomatix users are looking for ways to increase the speed of simulation creation, the ease of set up, portability, and lack of magnetic interference in the Xsens system is a prime supporting technology towards this goal.

Xsens and MVN

MVN Analyze works in tandem with Xsens MVN inertial motion capture solutions, powered by on-body gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers.

This enables precision data capture in any environment without the need for large-scale digital camera volumes.

Xsens is currently exploring methods to further streamline MVN system setup and calibration, and as such further empower the measurement and capture of data outside of the lab.