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Incorporating Six Pre-Defined Experiments Using Motion Analysis into Engineering Dynamics Courses

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2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting


California State University, Los Angeles , California

Publication Date

April 4, 2019

Start Date

April 4, 2019

End Date

April 6, 2019

Conference Session

PSW Section Meeting Papers - Disregard start and end time - for online paper access only

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Pacific Southwest Section Meeting Paper Submissions

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Sonya Christine Dick Cal Poly Human Motion Biomechanics Laboratory

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Sonya Dick is a Senior Mechanical Engineering Student at California Polytechnic State University - SLO. This is her second year working at the Human Motion Biomechanics Lab. As a research assistant, she helps create and teach interdisciplinary laboratories for undergraduate kinesiology and engineering students. Her work also involves creating simulations of a wide range of devices for the use of educational modules.

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Jay Tyler Davis II California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

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Bradley Wash California Polytechnic State University


Brian P. Self California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Brian Self obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He worked in the Air Force Research Laboratories before teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven years. Brian has taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 2006. During the 2011-2012 academic year he participated in a professor exchange, teaching at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. His engineering education interests include collaborating on the Dynamics Concept Inventory, developing model-eliciting activities in mechanical engineering courses, inquiry-based learning in mechanics, and design projects to help promote adapted physical activities. Other professional interests include aviation physiology and biomechanics.

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Undergraduate engineering dynamics often lacks a concrete connection between methods learned and hands-on engineering applications. We tried to create a stronger link between real life problems and theory through the use of motion capture technology. This paper focuses on the use of six pre-defined experiments to introduce students to using motion capture technology to analyze the kinematics and kinetics of real life situations. Students chose from gait, an elliptical machine, rowing, trebuchet, bike, and a Geneva mechanism to analyze. They used the live motion capture technology in the Human Motion Biomechanics Lab (HMBL) at California Polytechnic State University to obtain positional data. Using a provided spreadsheet which utilized first and second order finite difference method differentiation, students calculated velocities and accelerations for their problem. Students compared their analytical solution to the numerical solutions from the acquired data, and proposed reasons for variations. In a post-activity survey, 63% of students said the assignment helped them visualize concepts, while 95% of students said that they think aspects of the HMBL should be incorporated into future sections.

Dick, S. C., & Davis, J. T., & Wash, B., & Self, B. P. (2019, April), Incorporating Six Pre-Defined Experiments Using Motion Analysis into Engineering Dynamics Courses Paper presented at 2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, California State University, Los Angeles , California. 10.18260/1-2--31832

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