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Movement analysis

The movement laboratory allows for a deeper analysis of the movement and a better understanding of motor disorders.

Research, measure, develop and advise

We analyse movement sequences and muscle activity using state-of-the-art technology in our movement laboratory. This enables the precise detection of abnormalities, such as movement asymmetries or incorrect loading stresses. Simultaneously, we improve our understanding of how therapeutic aids and interventions, such as exoskeletons, robotics, orthoses, shoes or a targeted training, can have an impact on movement and health. Our employees are experts in the fields of physiotherapy and movement analysis. Together with our project partners, we work to close the gap between development and implementation. We understand both the concerns of patients, as well as the requirements of the medical professionals applying these new developments, thus benefitting our clinical partners, researchers, product developers in the medical technology industry and ultimately patients.

Our core competencies: 3D movement analysis and electromyography

In 3D movement analysis, reflective markers are placed at specific points on the body. These markers are registered by infrared cameras in the laboratory and, using biomechanical models, we generate 3D movement data. We also have the capability to perform electromyography measurements through the attach-ment of electrodes to the skin.
In this way, we can:

Our equipment

  • Force measuring plates and 12 infrared cameras for 3D motion analysis
  • Wireless 16-channel surface electromyography for measuring muscle activity
  • 3D inertial measurement systems for mobile motion analysis
  • Acceleration sensors
  • Mobile carpet for gait analysis
  • Portable devices for capturing physical activity in everyday life

Open data on the normal human gait

Our movement laboratory has recorded standard gait data from 100 test persons. The standard data set is made use of in various research disciplines, for example, human movement and physiotherapy. The data are used for comparison in the analysis and evaluation of, for example, gait disorders such as dragging foot or insufficient knee flexion. The Institute of Physiotherapy has made the human gait standard data free to use on the Dataverse open data platform. As such, the institute is contributing to the Swiss universities Open Science initiative that supports open research data and open access to publications.

Reference projects

We implement various projects in collaboration with partners from research, clinics and industry. A selection:

XoSoft – adaptable soft-exoskeleton

Development of a soft, adaptable exoskeleton for people with walking impairments.
Project partners: Institute of Mechatronic Systems ZHAW; four further European research groups from the fields of robotics, bioengineering, ambient intelligence and design; and four companies and clinical partners from the fields of rehabilitation technology, geriatrics and prosthetics.

Valedo neck therapy

Improvement of movement therapy for the cervical spine through computerized training, feedback and progress monitoring. Development of a new mobile measurement technology and integration of this technology into new neck-specific software. Further development of the therapy according to the «user-centred design principle»

Insoles with sensorimotor elements to activate the pelvic floor after birth

The aim of this feasibility study is to identify the external conditions which activate the pelvic floor muscles when walking or standing. On the basis of this information, an insole is developed in a follow-up project, which, in combination with a soft-elastic shoe, has a training effect on the pelvic floor musculature and can therefore serve as a therapy approach for urinary incontinence in postnatal women.


The T-CHAIR is a robotic rehabilitation device to regenerate the trunk muscles and to improve balance while sitting for stroke patients. The chair was developed by the IMES Institute for Mechanical Systems. The requisite kinematic analysis of the 3D movement of the trunk was performed in the movement laboratory. A user study is being carried out in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Clinic Valens. In December 2017 a European follow-up project was started with partners from Belgium, financed within the framework of the EU «Eurostars» programme. The aim is to further develop the technology and bring it to market maturity.

Back health of the horse population in Switzerland

Back health of the horse population in Switzerland: In more than ¾ of sport and recreational horses shown to a veterinarian for problems with performance or rideability, subclinical diseases of the musculoskeletal system are the cause of the symptoms. An inventory of the back health of Swiss riding horses was undertaken in this study. An important component was the development and application of physio-therapeutic and sport-specific tests. The findings of the study are to be incorporated into the training and further education of horse specialists, as well as the basic education of recrea-tional riders.

Team Movement Laboratory

Our team is made up of professionals from the fields of physiotherapy and movement science with broad experience in research, teaching and the provision of services.

Movement Laboratory team members

Person Function
Dr. Eveline Graf Movement Scientist, Research Associate, Movement Laboratory Supervisor
Michelle Haas Movement Scientist, Reserach Assistant
Bettina Sommer Movement Scientist, Research Associate
Annika Zind Physiotherapist, Reserach Assistant