Camera system evaluates workplace ergonomics

3D cameras are to identify unergonomic movements: Researchers in Hannover are about to develop a camera system that will help workers to correct unhealthy postures. Companies can use the system to protect their employees' health and prevent back pain or knee problems. 

WorkCam: Camera-based ergonomics assessment

Within the research project "WorkCam", scientists are developing an ergonomics evaluation method. 3D cameras are to identify movement patterns and help correct unhealthy postures. The ergonomics evaluation is exclusively based on real-time camera data.

Up to now, it is very complicated to analyse and assess movement patterns in the daily work routine of a factory. The workers have to wear full length body suits with markers, so that the computer can recognize the position of hands, elbows and shoulders. This is inconvenient during work. In contrast, the new system is projected to go entirely without markers and sensors and just uses 3D cameras to identify body and hands. In addition, the new camera system is able to analyse movements automatically – in real time. It identifies unergonomic movements and also proposes alternatives. In this way, workers get direct feedback and can correct their unhealthy movements or postures immediately.

"WorkCam" is a joint research project of the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH (IPH) and the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA) of Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Contact persons

Julius Gohlke

IFA – Institut für Fabrikanlagen und Logistik