VSimulators at Exeter enables research into balance, mobility, falls, trips, exercise, health and wellbeing, investigating societal impacts for motion impairment in vulnerable groups. This has drawn together academics from a variety of disciplines to form the Human Movement Science Group. Follow this link for details of academic expertise in this field. Additionally, academics are working in collaboration with commercial organisations, using the VSimulators facility, to identify opportunities for innovation in footwear, pitch design and training methods.
As an example, mobility impairment and falls are associated with a large personal and societal cost, with problems being attributed to a combination of individual factors (physical, cognitive and psychological) combined with environmental conditions. VSimulators offers the opportunity to study multi-factorial mechanisms, such as simulating falls to help understand the mechanisms of balance, falls, near-falls and active ingredients, which may form the basis of rehabilitation programmes. Additionally such research is supporting this development of low cost sensors for assessing and training balance, to support the ability for safer walking in older adults and people with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's Disease. Such research links into the built environment, by influencing the design of hospitals and consideration for how those with balance issues can access public transport. Further research in this sector can be supported by collaborations with experts such Sallie Lamb (physiotherapist) or Vicki Goodwin, MBE (physiotheraptist) at the University of Exeter Medical School. Additionally, Will Young (psychologist) and Genevieve Williams, (biomechanist) in Sports and Health Sciences offer expertise in motor control and boimechanics.
VSimulators at Bath focuses on research into the impact of environmental factors and the perception of motion (Sopite Syndrome) on the health and wellbeing of occupants. This involves an extensive team of academics from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, with support from commercial organisations exploring innovation in building design and the impact on human occupants. Examples of research include monitoring of internal air quality, productivity impact from building motion, and psychological responses to the immediate environment.
The video clips at the bottom of this page and the Case Study links (to the right) provide insights as to how VSimulators is being used for investigations into Human Movement, Health and Wellbeing.
Research Funding Opportunities
The following highlights current funding for collaborative research or for commercial organisations seeking to develop innovative solution. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss opportunities to apply for funding using the VSimulators research platform for research into Human Movement, Health and Wellbeing.
- UKRI - Healthy Ageing - a range of research funding to develop products and services to help people remain independent, productive, active and socially connected for longer.
- Legal and General / Innovate UK- £6M to support existing SMEs looking to develop products and services which focus on health and wellness for the elderly population. (Closing Date is March 2022)
- National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing - a range of grants, charitable trust and foundations open to applications for funding.
- EPSRC - Heathcare Technologies New Challenges NetworkPlus - this seeks to support a new suite of networks to address the grand challenges to help shape the future research porfolio. Proposals are invited for networks where engineering and physical science has a pivotal role in addressing new and emerging opportunities to help ensure our future health and well being
- EPSRC - Healthcare Technologies: Call for Investigator-Led Research Projects (No closing date)
- ESRC - JPI More Years Better Lives, Equality and Well Being Across Generations - a call to research and support policy in reducing inequality in the face of demographic change (closing date is 14 September 2020)
- Innovate UK Smart Grants - opportunities for registered organisations to apply for a share of upto £25 million to deliver disruptive R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy (Closing date is 25 November 2020)
- Innovate UK - Using Digital Technology to Support Psychological Therapies (SBRI competition)- organisations can apply for a share of up to £345,000 to develop new solutions using digital technology to provide psychological support (Registration closes 9 September 2020)
Please contact us if you wish to discuss a research idea.
In the following videos our academics discuss some current areas of research using the VSimulators platforms for human movement, health and wellbeing
Dr Genevieve Williams (biomechanist) discusses her research using VSimulators
Professor Vicki Goodwin (physiotherapist) discusses her research using VSimulators
Dr Will Young (psychologist) discusses his research using VSimulators
Dr Ian Walker (psychologist) discusses his research using VSimulators