Force platform

Force platform

Force platforms or force plates are measuring instruments that measure the ground reaction forces generated by a body standing on them, in order to quantify balance, gait, and other parameters of biomechanics. Most common areas of application are medicine and sports.

The simplest force platform is a pair of square plates one over another with four pressure gauges between them at the four corners. [Flemming Bonde-Petersen, "A simple force platform", "European Journal of Applied Physiology", Volume 34, Number 1 / December, 1975, pp.51-54 doi|10.1007/BF00999915]

Simpler force plates measure the vertical component of the force in the geometric center of the platform. More advanced ones measure the force at the center of pressure and the location of the COP, still more advanced measure all three spatial components of the force vector and torques for the three spatial axes.

Force platforms may be classified into single-pedestal and multi-pedestal and by the gauge (force and movement transducer) type: strain gauge, piezoelectric sensors, capacitance gauge, piezoresistive, etc., each with its advantages and drawbacks. [Iwan W. Griffiths, (2006) "Principles of Biomechanics & Motion Analysis". ISBN 0781752310]

Major manufacturers

*AMTI []
* Bertec []
*Kistler []

ee also

*Gait analysis


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