Lab Facilities

The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab has an experimental biomechanics lab space and a computer simulation lab / student office space.

Photo of the student workspace from August 2018 before the computers and students moved in.

Portion of the experimental lab space from September 2018, when our first piece of  equipment was installed.


Motion Capture uses infrared cameras and reflective markers to measure human movement. Our motion capture system is specifically set-up for upper limb movement analysis.

  • 12-camera Vicon Vero v.2.2 motion capture system

Electromyography (EMG) is a method for recording muscle activity (e.g., whether a muscle is “on” or “off”). Our EMG system can record from muscles near the skins surface using surface electrodes and muscles deep in the body using intramuscular needle electrodes.

  • 32-channel Delsys Trigno EMG system
    • 8 Trigno Avanti Sensors (surface)
    • 8 Trigno Spring Contact Sensors (intramuscular)
    • 4 Trigno Quattro Sensors (surface)

Dynamometers are instruments used to measure force and torque. Our dynamometers can be used to examine strength in pediatric, adult, and elderly populations.

  • Biodex System 4 Pro
    • Standard Attachments for Measuring Joint Torques
    • Work Simulation Attachments
  • Hand Dynamometer for measuring grip strength
  • Pinch Gauges for measuring pinch strength
  • Custom Force Sensors are being developed to study finger forces

Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging modality that can be used to measure muscle properties. Our ultrasound systems were chosen to optimize imaging of upper and lower limb musculature for research purposes.

  • SuperSonic Imagine Aixplorer MACH 30
    • L18-5 linear transducer, L10-2 linear transducer, and LH20-6 hockey stick linear transducer
    • ShearWave Plus Elastography enables measurement of shear wave speed to assess tissue stiffness
    • Panoramic Imaging on all linear transducers
  • Telemed ArtUs Ultrasound System
    • L12-5N40-A5 and L18-10H30-A4 linear transducers
    • Research package provides access to raw RF data
    • PanoView plug-in for recording of panoramic images

YCB Object Set: The Yale-CMU-Berkeley (YCB) Object & Model Set is a collection of common household objects for benchmarking robotic manipulation. We are using the objects and models to study activities of daily living and to develop simulations of contact forces at the hand-object interface.


To facilitate analysis of experimental data and creation of predictive biomechanical simulations, we utilize a variety of engineering and data analysis software packages. We have licenses for Matlab, LabView, Nexus, and EMGworks. We also utilize many open-source software packages, including OpenSim, Python, PyTorch, NotePad++, OnShape, ImageJ, and Seg3D.

Collaboration Opportunities

If access to our equipment or software could enhance your research, please contact Dr. Nichols directly via e-mail to discuss potential collaboration.