Well, I am here at the University of Southern California
Robotic Interaction Lab. I am building an "inexpensive"
motion capture suite using inertial measurement units.
Each unit is coming in at about 200 dollars, but has 6
DOF. I have designed a radio link between the suit and a
host computer that will basically stream the data in. All
the sensor parts are on order and the boards are being
made. Each IMU is only 1.75x1.75x1" and is interfaced
through a minidin connector, which also functions as the
programming port. I think the design is solid and we
expect that you can capture all movements of the arm,
minus the fingers, using just 3 IMUs. So, that makes 6
for the arms, 6 for the legs, 1 for the head, and 1 for
the upper torso = 14 in total. That is about $2800 plus
another $300 for the link, puts us at about $3100, to
capture the entire human body (less fingers & toes). That
is a LOT better than $20,000, which is the base price of
most of the motion capture systems out there. I am also
sketching out the specs for what could turn into a
humanoid robot interaction testbed, we will see.