National Instruments and BME’s collaborative project is highlighted at conference

Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering will demonstrate a new undergraduate laboratory assignment that highlights a collaborative project between National Instruments and the biomedical engineering department today at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s (BMES) annual conference hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. The collaborative approach will allow capture of gait images by volunteer visitors and carry out a gait analysis on prearranged images.

“The BMES meeting is the most important place to see all the cutting edge research happening in biomedical engineering and bioengineering today,” BMES Executive Director Edward Schilling said. “It is the best venue for researchers, students, industry, and the medical community to come together and collaborate on these potentially life-changing technologies.”

Professor of biomedical engineering Frederick Haselton and VUSE alumnus and new applications engineer team leader of National Instruments Kristin Heck developed an approach to use computer vision in the gait analysis project.  Working with Heck, undergraduate research assistant Cat Majors and biomedical graduate student Hali Bordelon will assemble the hardware and produce the LabVIEW code for instrument control and image processing.  A video of the entire process and a sample of the laboratory assignment will be available for review.

“Our approach is to allow capture of gait images by volunteer visitors and carry out a gait analysis on pre-prepared images,” said Todd Giorgio, chair of the Vanderbilt’s department of biomedical engineering. “We expect to use this as an assignment in BME 255W, our fourth year required undergraduate laboratory course during the current semester.”

The 2010 BMES meeting, which runs from Oct. 6-9, will feature more than 1,500 poster presentations, nearly 800 oral presentations during three full days of symposia and sessions on all aspects of biomedical engineering, Career Day for students and early-career professionals, and a host of professional and social activities are also planned.

The biomedical department hopes to have this project presented at National Instruments Week in 2011, which is the industry’s premier event on graphical system design that attracts the world’s brightest engineers, educators and scientists.