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    October 2009

    Technology and Innovation Development

    Center for Design Innovation at UNC School of the Arts Develops Motion Capture Expertise

    As a multi-campus research center, CDI strives to go beyond using existing knowledge and technologies: the mission is to conduct research in order to generate new ideas, techniques and educational content. Interdisciplinary collaboration is core to CDI's innovative approach, for both learning and research. CDI collaborators are assembling expertise and technologies to extend basic knowledge in the life sciences, to support health care through the design of products and services, and to promote education and entertainment through animation and online media such as “serious games,” courseware and mobile applications. Motion capture and analysis will become an important research method for studying movements in athletics, choreography and occupational and physical therapy. Motion capture techniques and applications will also become an entry point for members of academia and business who want to interact with the center. 

    Dr. Nickolay Hristov recently joined the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) to lead the development of its motion capture and analysis capability. Dr. Hristov comes to CDI from Brown University in Providence, RI, where he participated in a broadly collaborative project among MIT, Brown University, the University of Maryland and Oregon State University. The investigators are studying the biomechanics and aeromechanics of bats’ flight, for applications in the design and development of highly maneuverable micro-air vehicles. A native of Bulgaria, Nick received his PhD from Wake Forest University in 2004 and went on to do postdoctoral work at Boston University. There he applied advanced thermal imaging, high-speed videography and computer vision analysis to study aeroecology and large-scale population trends, self-organization and group behavior in colony-based organisms. 

    Currently CDI's constituent schools are the UNC School of the Arts and Winston-Salem State University, in collaboration with Forsyth Technical Community College. CDI serves many interests in the community, with the goal of catalyzing economic transformation of North Carolina's Piedmont Triad region.  Through continually evolving collaborations, CDI is steadily expanding its range of programs and services.  Workshops and other enrichment programs already offer learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, throughout the community. These programs tend to offer a more holistic perspective or approach to topics that are normally considered either "artistic" or "scientific." By supporting engagement with digital media that combine aspects of thinking, creativity and productivity, CDI’s programs strengthen both "soft skills" and STEM skills. 


    For further information, please contact:

    Jim DeCristo, Director of Economic Development and External Affairs

    University of North Carolina School of the Arts

    (336) 734-2862