Rapid three-dimensional photonic scanning system for body volume measurement and body shape visualization
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Traditional three-dimensional (3D) photonic scanning (3DPS) can be used to obtain body volume data and to enable visualization of 3D body shape in one rapid scan, which is helpful for determining people’s obesity level, health risk and sport performance as well as motivating individuals to reduce weight efficiently. Nevertheless, traditional 3DPS is restricted to expensive and fixed hardware and specific software that requires specialist interpretation in laboratory settings, which reduces possible applications. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to develop a fast, inexpensive, portable and automatic 3DPS system to measure body volume data and to display body shape in 3D. To ensure that the system could be used for monitoring changes over time, the accuracy and reliability of the estimated body volumes were also established. Four studies and one technical description were conducted to achieve the purpose of this research. In the first three studies, a new technique, DScan, was developed that could generate individual 3D human models and calculate body volume. In Study 1, the reliability of the body dimension features obtained by four extraction methods was compared to find an appropriate method to improve the quality of extracted body dimension features. In Study 2, two different parameter groups were compared to enable subsequent selection of appropriate parameters to generate realistic 3D human models. A procedure and a program were presented which can set the parameters to match the extracted features and generate individual 3D human models effectively. In Study 3, Blender scripts and shell scripts were used to develop a customized program which can obtain body volume data from generated 3D human models. In Study 4, the accuracy and the reliability of the body volume data acquired from DScan were examined by comparing with the traditional 3DPS and the geometric modelling technique, elliptical zone (E-Zone). In the technical description, a Body Shape Monitoring System (BSMS) which can help non-expert users complete the DScan procedure and visualize body shape changes was introduced. The processing speed, cost and portability of the introduced BSMS were also shown in the technical description. The accuracy of the BSMS for whole-body volume indicated by an inter-method relative technical error of measurement was within 5% of that obtained from the traditional 3DPS. The repeated reliability expressed as an intra-method relative technical error of measurement was under 3% for whole-body volume. The accuracy and the reliability of the BSMS for segmental volumes (upper torso, lower torso, upper arm, lower arm, thigh and shank) indicated by inter-method and intra-method relative technical error of measurements were less than 10% and 5% respectively. These were similar to those obtained by the E-Zone. The BSMS reduces the requirement of hardware, software and expert knowledge as well as the processing time compared to other techniques of quantifying whole-body volume and segmental volumes. The GUI of the BSMS enables it to be used without specific training in computer programing or machine operation. The system is highly portable, and its components are inexpensive (under £700). Each analysis can be completed in three minutes without requiring subjective interpretations. The results showed that the system has the potential to be applied in the domains of health and medicine, the fashion industry, ergonomics, and sports science. Further studies should be conducted to develop a complete system which is consequently suitable for home use.