The EquiMoves E!12304 Eurostars project goal is to build a system based on a network of wireless inertial sensors to help equine vets in early detection of lameness, the most costly health problem for the horse industry. The wireless sensors act as mobile measuring units attached to the legs of the horse, the withers, head, sternum and sacrum. The EquiMoves analysis toolbox quantifies scientifically the evolution of a horse’s gait, the progress of lameness, as well as its response to training, shoeing and nerve blocking.
This is a big paradigm shift from the current practice, where the vet can only make a subjective, visual assessment and has little to no reference to past examinations. From this point of view, the EquiMoves system could become as widely-used as an X-ray machine or an ultrasound machine.
The success of the project demands a multi-disciplinary collaboration and a consortium with complementary expertise:
- Inertia Technology, The Netherlands, an R&D SME that is specialized in wireless sensing and data processing – project leader;
- Rosmark Consultancy, The Netherlands, an R&D SME with a wide experience in the equine practice, and in translating research results into methodologies and
tools for the everyday use;
- Utrecht University, The Netherlands, which has exceptional know-how on motion capturing of horse’s gait and interpretation of the associated kinematics;
- University of Zurich, Switzerland, which is a center of excellence regarding equine gait analysis and owns the in-house developed, world-unique instrumented high-speed treadmill that enables the full validation of EquiMoves from the ground-reaction forces point of view.