Researchers from the University of Tokyo created a real time system to visualize how much individual skeletal muscles are being used during an exertion. This technology might come in handy to tune up an exercise routine in an attempt to reach Mr. Universe title, or could be used by patients and their caregivers to optimize functional use of muscles following a stroke during a rehabilitation program.
From the Pink Tentacle blog:
The magic mirror, developed under the leadership of professor Yoshihiko Nakamura of the Information and Robot Technology Research Initiative (IRT), was unveiled at the University of Tokyo last Friday. In a demonstration for the media, the system’s display monitor showed a real-time computer-generated image of a male model’s musculo-skeletal system while he performed a series of physical exercises.
The system, which is currently capable of monitoring the activity of 30% of the body’s roughly 300 skeletal muscles, consists of 16 electromyographs (instruments that record the electrical waves associated with muscle activity) attached to the user’s body, 10 motion-capture cameras, and a pair of floor sensors to measure the force exerted on the legs.
On the monitor, each muscle is shown in a different color depending on how much it is being used at a particular moment. Active muscles are shown in red, while inactive muscles are shown in yellow.
The magic mirror system uses newly developed software that is reportedly 10 times faster than previous technology, allowing the system to operate in real-time, even when the user is moving rapidly.