Project

Microgravity Rowing

Copyright

Tim McGrath & Jeremy Stroming

Tim McGrath & Jeremy Stroming 

In microgravity, the removal of constant loading on the skeleton leads to loss of bone density and muscle mass. In order to counteract this, humans living in microgravity must exercise extensively. Exercise devices exist on the International Space Station (ISS), including a treadmill, cycle ergometer, and resistive squat-type machine, but these devices generally consume a large volume of space in the ISS. For a long duration flight to Mars, space is far more limited—to a relatively small crewed capsule. This necessitates the design of more compact exercise device. Rowing ergometers offer the benefit of a diverse resistive and cardiovascular exercise in a compact space. We aim to estimate the kinematics of the rowing motion in microgravity using two techniques: optical motion capture and wearable inertial measurement units (IMUs). We will attempt to answer whether wearable IMUs are a feasible solution to human pose estimation in microgravity and how rowing form in microgravity changes—useful to inform exercise planning on future missions.

In microgravity, the removal of constant loading on the skeleton leads to loss of bone density and muscle mass. In order to counteract this, humans living in microgravity must exercise extensively. Exercise devices exist on the International Space Station (ISS), including a treadmill, cycle ergometer, and resistive squat-type machine, but these devices generally consume a large volume of space in the ISS. For a long duration flight to Mars, space is far more limited—to a relatively small crewed capsule. This necessitates the design of more compact exercise device. Rowing ergometers offer the benefit of a diverse resistive and cardiovascular exercise in a compact space. We aim to estimate the kinematics of the rowing motion in microgravity using two techniques: optical motion capture and wearable inertial measurement units (IMUs). We will attempt to answer whether wearable IMUs are a feasible solution to human pose estimation in microgravity and how rowing form in microgravity changes—useful to inform exercise planning on future missions.

Copyright

Tim McGrath & Jeremy Stroming

Team Members

Tim McGrath, Human Systems Lab, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Jeremy Stroming, Human Systems Lab, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics