Force Platform System Design

During initial laboratory/facility design, consideration should be give to the following questions:

  • should the system be portable or permanently mounted
  • should the system be floor mounted or installed within a specially made recess
  • are there any limitations to the space – size, location (eg. not ground level)
  • what size working surface or top plate will best suit the application
  • what layout/mounting configurations are required to capture the reaction forces and moments generated throughout the activity being carried out
  • will the force platform need to be covered
  • what are the primary applications – balance, gait analysis, sports
  • capacity – the highest load you plan to apply to the platform
  • determine optimum capacity and sensitivity for the application
  • subject considerations – children, adults, disabilities
  • platform configuration – in line, staggered, variable positions

A standard strain gauge based platform system requires several system components in order to accomplish the measurement task:

Example of a typical analogue installation for gait analysis, using AMTI Netforce/Bioanalysis software and MSA-6 or GEN-5 amplifiers:

  • One or more BP400600 force platforms, 1,000lb capacity
  • Platform mounting system (s)
  • MSA-6 Signal conditioner/amplifier(s) or GEN-5 USB amplifier(s)
  • Data acquisition and analysis software
  • Cables and connectors

The analogue system shown opposite shows the various components used to carry out the measurement process.  AMTI’s MSA-6 Miniamp amplifiers or GEN-5 amplifiers are used to provide the excitation voltage source for the platform(s) and to amplify the platform(s) output signals.  Each platform requires one amplifier.  The platforms and amplifiers are interconnected via the 7615 cable which is a 100% shielded cable using twisted signal and excitation pairs to provide the highest possible noise immunity.

The amplified signals are transmitted from the amplifiers to the ADI-32 interconnection box via the 5405E amplifier cables.  Each amplifier requires one 5405E cable.  The ADI-32 can accept up to four amplifier cables and has six spare inputs which can be used to accept inputs from other user devices.

The ADI-32 collects the signals from the amplifiers and in turn transmits them to a DT3034 card mounted in a PC via a 100 pin ribbon cable.  If the user chooses to use their own data acquisition system the ADI-32 box also includes a standard DB-37 connector for user configured interconnection.

AMTI’s Netforce software will seamlessly interface with up to four amplifiers (and thus four platforms) connected as described above. 

Equine Gait

No two installations are exactly the same, and so there is an array of force platforms specially engineered for the study of equine gait.

All AMTI equine gait platforms are constructed based on the users’ requirements and are available in dustproof, water-resistant, and waterproof configurations.

There are custom solutions, as well as standard sizes that encompass the most frequently requested dimensions (600 X 900 mm, 600 X 1200 mm, 900 X 900 mm, and 1200 X 1200 mm).  Each platform is designed to accept a wide variety of top surfaces so that they match the look and feel of the surrounding area.

Contact us for help and advice on the design of your force platform system.

Force Platform System
Multiple force platform laboratory installation