Virginia Tech receives donated motion capture suits from alum

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) An alumnus from Virginia Tech made a donation of high tech equipment to be used by researchers Wednesday.

James Marraccini donated 16 motion capture suits, valued at more than $150,000

The suits will go to three different colleges, 8 different departments, and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

The different researchers plan to study a wide range of topics using the suits, from balance and fall prevention to developing more human-like robotic motion and understanding human performance in simulated healthcare tasks.

The suits are wires and sensors that can be worn over clothes, unlike suits used in Hollywood productions with dots placed across the wearer’s body, known as “optical” systems, that are limited in the way they can capture motion.

Marraccini said his company, Inertial Labs, employs and sells to a lot of former Virginia Tech students.

The 1993 alumnus explained, "You want to make the donation back so that people get familiar with your equipment and when they graduate, they're ready to either join you or potentially use your product in the applications where they move onto."

Robin Queen is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech, and received one of the suits.

She said, "We'll be able to use these suits interdisciplinarily across these different departments and these different units to really be able to begin to work together in the way that we, sort of, see research going which is these interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams."

Some of the suits are already expected to be used later in the week.

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