At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV), we carry out R&D projects that enable our clients to foster their own lines of research and development for products and services..
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV), we carry out R&D projects that enable our clients to foster their own lines of research and development for products and services. We accompany them in generating applied knowledge and in detecting opportunities for funding through programmes that foster R&D to boost business development and competitiveness.
By using agile methods with a multidisciplinary team of experts in applied knowledge in areas such as anthropometry, human functions, the biomechanics of body systems, human factors and people’s needs and preferences, we carry out applied R&D in the following markets:
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Knowledge in anthropometry, human functions, biomechanics and human factors enables us to identify how a vehicle and its components should be designed from the end user’s point of view, from human-machine interfaces to cockpits, thermal comfort systems and driver and passenger monitoring. Thus, our clients can always count on basic scientific knowledge, which allows them to make progress upon a solid foundation towards the development of new products and services.
We carry out tailor-made projects with great flexibility, always beginning by defining the scientific goals and the methods to be followed together with the client. In collaboration with the companies, we define the hypothesis to be tested, develop the experimental design, create the data acquisition technology, carry out biomechanical-based experiments and analyse the results using advanced mathematical and statistical techniques.
In traditional industries, R&D is a crucial factor in staying competitive. The methods and tools we use at IBV enable us to identify the elements that will be decisive for our clients to strengthen their position in the market.
In order to improve clients’ products and services, new approaches are increasingly being used to characterise users’ subjective response via systems that enable us to know how users “think and feel” when they are not even capable of being aware of it themselves, by means of techniques such as physiological response (conductivity of the skin, activation of facial expression muscles, variation of heart rate) and the monitoring of spontaneous gaze or eye tracking when judging a product.
These types of techniques can be applied in a simulated environment (traditional laboratory), a real one (living lab) or a virtual one (simulation by calculation), allowing for a wide range of possibilities.
Anthropometric modelling of the human body allows the population to be segmented according to the target audience being studied, to simulate the person-product interaction and apply comparative analyses with similar products, whether they are the client’s own products (beta versions or prototypes) or from their competition.
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV), we have extensive knowledge of human factors and user requirements analysis techniques that are vital in identifying the scientific foundations that determine what mobility services will be like in future. New forms of mobility make it necessary to predict how transport users and all the participants are going to behave, whether they are public transport drivers or control room operators, including those in smart cities, in the short, medium and long term.
The scenarios and use cases that are generated form the basis of projects with a great deal of innovation, giving the client an edge in proposing solutions in advance.
Together with the client, operators and manufacturers, the issues to be solved are defined and the problem is outlined in order to create R&D projects that set out the foundations and criteria that can be exploited in subsequent design and development phases.
Our R&D activities are intended to foster innovation in clothing and footwear companies, enabling new market-leading products and services to be developed.
We generate knowledge in the following key areas:
– Creation of databases and tools to analyse users’ measurements and shapes to make clothing and footwear fit better. New technologies for 3D scanning of the user and size allocation.
Biomechanics, ensuring pressure reduction, adaptation to movement, safety and comfort.
– Adaptation to the thermal characteristics of the environment and people’s thermophysiological response to ensure their thermal comfort.
Improved product usability and performance in activities that use clothing or footwear.
Personalisation, converting user information into a specific design to meet the user’s individual needs.
Tourism and leisure
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV), we attain information about users’ interaction with the products, environs and services that people use.
With a multidisciplinary team of experts, we help the different stakeholders in the tourism and leisure industry to generate knowledge, enabling them to develop innovative products and services that take into account the users’ opinion, needs and preferences, as well as anthropometric, ergonomic and functional criteria in their business value propositions.
Our research and development activities are geared to improve sportspeople’s performance and health, putting our facilities, knowledge and a broad multidisciplinary team of experts at our clients’ disposal to carry out R&D projects. To do so:
– We apply the most advanced technology and knowledge in anthropometry to obtain information on sportspeople’s fitness and health, using simple, precise and fast tools.
– We progress in motion analysis techniques to take sports biomechanics a step further. Our latest development, the MOVE 4D system, will revolutionize the way we understand sports biomechanics research and the design of sports products.
We develop measurement methods and algorithms based on artificial intelligence and traditional systems such as force platforms and sensors of all kinds, to enable us to predict damage such as knee injuries in football or the appearance of fatigue.
– We apply the most advanced technology and knowledge in biomechanics to surface testing methods, both in the laboratory and in situ, which allows manufacturers to develop and evaluate new materials, solutions and maintenance methods for playing football, rugby, paddle tennis, etc.
We research new materials and systems for artificial turf adapted to new situations and market demands.
We work with manufacturers in developing new infills for artificial turf based on organic materials and market requirements.
We develop simple evaluation systems for pitches based on image analysis, thus allowing sports managers, maintenance supervisors and sports clubs to run their facilities optimally with appropriate maintenance.
Rehabilitation and personal autonomy
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) we generate new knowledge and cutting-edge technologies to apply them to new devices for rehabilitation and personal autonomy.
We are specialists in biomechanics, anthropometry, ergonomics, thermal comfort, UX, physiological signs and the evaluation of cognitive load.
We tackle the challenges in this industry by co-developing projects for companies in collaboration with prescribers, users and other stakeholders. The interaction between companies, technologists and users ensures we create successful solutions.
Healthcare technology
In the field of healthcare technologies, we carry out R&D projects for companies that allow them to design and develop personalised, innovative devices in order to improve patients’ quality of life and respond to professionals’ problems.
We work in spheres such as:
– New materials, biomaterials and advanced manufacturing technologies like additive manufacturing in order to design standard or personalised devices following the criteria of ergonomics, anthropometry and usability, all within the context of Industry 4.0.
– Analysis and reconstruction of body structures by medical imaging. Simulation of the behaviour of implants and body structures by means of analytical models of finite elements and biomechanics.
– Research into analytical tools to evaluate medical devices.
– Knowledge and mechanisms to study wear in prosthetics for joints.
– Development of systems for surgical and aesthetic planning.
– Sensors in implants and monitoring of the behaviour of medical devices in the user to know if they are working properly.
– Drawing up protocols for automatic personalisation using parametric models of medical devices.
– Artificial intelligence and deep learning applied to healthcare.
Occupational healthcare and well-being
Our cross-discipline knowledge of biomechanical evaluations, people’s needs and preferences, anthropometry and design, which we have at the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV), allows us to carry out R&D projects within the domain of occupational health and well-being in the following areas:
– Designing machines, environments and tools from an ergonomic point of view.
– Evaluation and redesign of systems to improve workers’ comfort (exoskeletons).
Children and childcare
At the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) we do research to generate design criteria for children’s products.
We back companies through R&D projects, providing scientific knowledge to better understand the characteristics, needs and preferences of the child population.
From birth to adolescence, the body’s dimensions, the way of moving and the way of interacting with products evolve and, with them, the requirements of every product or service.
As part of their research lines, our clients trust us to discover the best possibilities for monitoring daily activity, drawing up new design guidelines, introducing the user’s experience, learning the child population’s strength, crawl and the way they walk and move. They can thus adapt their business value proposition in order to differentiate themselves in the market via innovation.
Elderly people and ageing
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the proportion of people over 60 years of age is increasing faster than any other age group in almost all countries due to the increase in life expectancy and the decrease in the fertility rate. The fact that the population is ageing can be seen as a success for public health policies and socioeconomic development, but it also poses a challenge for society, which must adapt to it in order to optimise the elderly’s health and functional capacity, as well as their social participation and safety.
At the Instituto de Biomécanica (IBV) we take on this challenge by carrying out research projects mainly focusing on the elderly and people in a situation of dependency, fragility or disability. To do so, we have a solid scientific foundation about ageing, experts and the necessary knowledge to help associations, users, institutions and companies to develop products, environments and services in order to continue improving elderly people’s quality of life.