MERC employs biomedical and industrial engineers who specialize in the analysis, adaptation, and redesign of work and work environments in order to optimize human performance. Work activities include:
- Analysis of work stations
- Design of tools and workspace
- Ergonomic risk analysis, mitigation, and training
- Human factors analysis
- Rehabilitation engineering
We quantify the physical and cognitive requirements of tasks, develop criteria for matching people and tools with task requirements, study the ergonomic risk involved in jobs and how to mitigate it, develop design criteria for tools and work environments to support human activity, and many other human factors-related activities.
Laboratories and Equipment
MERC has specially-equipped laboratories which support the projects and initiatives undertaken by the biomechanics and human factors team. Capabilities such as 3D motion analysis, computer-based biomechanical simulation, and wireless biometric sensing allow us to predict the physiological response of the human body to external loads and environmental conditions that are experienced in the home, in the workplace, or on the battlefield.
A well-equipped biomechanics lab, located on the campus of Mercer University, provides our engineers with the facilities to perform a range of complex biomechanical testing and analysis not available anywhere else in this part of the country. The lab is equipped with an extensive array of biomechanical sensing systems and simulation software including 3D motion capture, force plates, wireless sensors, and video.
The motion capture system, manufactured by Northern Digital Inc., includes three sensor bars that together provide 0.4 mm resolution of motion measurement within a 300 cubic-meter sensing area. Three force plates, also manufactured by Northern Digital, allow 16-bit measurement of human ground reaction forces up to 8,000 newtons. The wireless sensors include six individual channels of electromyography, and two channels for wireless force and/or grip sensors.
Simulation software including Open Sim, AnyBody, and Visual3D allow the biomedical engineers to estimate physiological responses at the joint and tissue level.