Bertec Force Plate Setup



Bertec Force Plate Setup is under development. It will be available soon. Thank you for your patience!

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This page provides instructions on integrating Bertec Force plate system into Motive.


As of Motive 1.10, only free run configuration is supported for integrating Bertec force plate systems, and devices will need to run independently at its own acquisition rate. Precise synchronization is not supported yet because the Bertec SDK currently does not support external sync signals.

Hardware Setup

The following setup does not support synchronization signals. Synchronization supported setup will be updated in the future.

Component Wiring (Free-Run)

  • Refer to the respective Bertec system user documentation for details on setting up the force plate system and connecting to the host PC.
  • Set up an OptiTrack system. Connect the camera system to the same host PC. For more information, refer to the Quick Start Guide: Getting Started page or the Hardware Setup pages.

Software Setup

OptiTrack Peripheral Module

In order to integrate force plate systems with Motive, you will need to setup the drivers and plugins for the force plates. For Motive 1.10 and above, Motive installer is packaged with OptiTrack Peripheral Module (OPM) which installed during the Motive installation process. The OPM includes all necessary drivers and plugins for integrating external devices including force plates (AMTI and Bertec). During the Motive installation process (1.10 and above), a list of program features will be shown in the Custom Setup section. Here, change the setting for the OptiTrack Peripherals Module, as shown in the below image, so that the module is installed along with Motive Files. For integrating only the digital force plates, you don't need to install NI-DAQmx drivers that comes up next in the installer.

Installing OptiTrack Peripheral Module.

Motive Setup

1. Start Motive. If the hardware and software for the force plates are configured and recognized properly, Motive will display the detected force plates with number labels (1, 2, etc..). Motive will notify you of incorrect or nonexistent force plate calibration files.

  • Initial view in Motive after setting up force plates.
    Motive with force plates.
  • Status Log pane in Motive.

2. Calibrate cameras. Calibrate the capture volume as normal to get the orientation of the cameras (see the Quick Start Guide or Calibration page for more information). The position of the force plate is relative to the center of the volume, and when you re-calibrate or reset the ground plane, you will need to also realign the position of your force plates for best results.

Motive after setting up force plates and calibration.
Motive with force plates and camera calibration.

3. Enter Force Plate Dimensions. Under the Devices pane, click on each of the Bertec force plates and input the force plate dimensions (width and length) as well as their location of the transducers by inputting XYZ offset values from the physical center.

Inputting force plate dimensions and sensor offset values under respective force plate properties.

4. Setup CS-400. On the CS-400 calibration square, pull the force plate alignment tabs out and put the force plate leveling jigs at the bottom. The leveling jigs align the calibration square to the surface of your force plate. The alignment tabs allow you to put the CS-400 flush against the sides of your force plate giving the most accurate alignment.

CS-400 calibration square with force plate force plate parts.
CS-400 calibration square with force plate force plate parts.

5. Place CS-400 on force plate. Place the calibration wand on the force plate so that the wand vertex is located at the right-hand corner of the side where the cable input is located (shown in the image below). A correct placement of the calibration square is important because it determines the orientation of the force plate and its local coordinate axis within the global system. The coordinate system for force plates are independent of the system used Motive. Bertec force plates use the right-hand system. The longer arm of CS-400 will define the Y axis, and the shorter arm will define the X axis of the force plate. Accordingly, Z axis is directed downwards for measuring the vertical force.

Bertec force plate with CS-400 aligned properly.

Calibrated force plate position and orientation. X and Y axis is shown.

6. Set force plate position in Motive. After placing the calibration square on the force plate, select the CS-400 markers in Motive. Right click on the force plate you want to locate, and click Set Position. When there are multiple force plates in a volume, you may need to step on the force plate to find which platform the calibration square is on. In Motive, uncalibrated force plates will light up in green and a force vector will appear when you step on the plate. Repeat step 4 and 5 for other force plates as necessary.

Referencing to the markers on the calibration square, Motive defines the location of the force plate coordinate system within the global coordinate system. Motive uses manufacturer defined X, Y, and Z mechanical-to-electrical center offset when calculating the force vector and the center of pressure. For digital based plates, this information is available from the SDK and also stored in the plate's on-board calibration data.

Setting the position of a force plate in Motive.
Setting the position of a force plate in Motive. The number label on the force plate is inverted because the force plate position and orientation has not been calibrated yet.

7. Zero force plates. After you have calibrated each of your force plate, remove the CS-400 from the volume. Right click one of your force plates in Motive and click Zero (all). This sets the current force on the plate data to 0. This will account for a small constant amount of measurement offset from the force plate. Remember that it zeros all of the force plates at once. So make sure there are no objects on the force plates.

Set the force plate data to zero for more accurate data.
Set the force plate data to zero for more accurate data.

Force Plate Data in Motive

To view the live force plate data, open the editor from the Timeline Pane. Then, open the Project Pane (or Cameras Pane) and select one of the force plates. A list of force plate channels will appear under each force plate. Select Fx, Fy, Fz, Mx, My, or Mz to view the live force plate data from the timeline. Multiple channels can be displayed at once. Here, you can confirm that your force plates are working properly.

Graph of live force plate data.
Graph of live force plate data.

Data Playback