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Development of a 3-camera vision system and the saddle motion analysis of horses via this system

Doğan, Gözde
One of the purposes of this study is to develop a vision system consisting of 3 inexpensive, commercial cameras. The system is intended to be used for tracking the motion of objects in a large calibration volume, typically 6.5 m. wide and 0.7 m. high. Hence, a mechanism is designed and constructed for the calibration of the cameras. The second purpose of the study is to develop an algorithm, which can be used to obtain the kinematic data associated with a rigid body, using a vision system. Special filters are implemented in the algorithm to identify the 3 markers attached on the body. Optimal curves are fitted to the position data of the markers after smoothing the data appropriately. The outputs of the algorithm are the position, velocity and acceleration of any point (visible or invisible) on the body and the angular velocity and acceleration of the body. The singularities associated with the algorithm are also determined. Using the vision setup and the developed algorithm for tracking the kinematics of a rigid body, the motions of the saddles of different horses are investigated for different gaits. Similarities and differences between horses and/or gaits are analyzed to lead to quantitative results. Using the limits induced by the whole body vibration of humans, for the first time in the world, daily, allowable riding time and riding distances are determined for different horses and gaits. Furthermore, novel, quantitative horse comfort indicators are proposed. Via the experiments performed, these indicators are shown to be consistent with the comfort assessment of experienced riders. Finally, in order to implement the algorithms proposed in this study, a computer code is developed using MATLAB®.