Wellywood technology helps children to walk Animation techniques, like those that brought Gollum, are being used to treat disabilities.
Animation technology used in blockbuster movies such as Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is now helping children to walk.
The Gait Laboratory at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane uses animation technology developed at Weta Digital in Wellington to see why some children, as young as 3, have trouble walking.
Keegan McCluskey, 12, is falling over less and has ditched his wheelchair for a walking stick since doctors were able to identify more accurately what surgery he needed to correct his walk
Gait Laboratory director Dr Robyn Grote said the technology was reducing the number of times children had to undergo surgery because of its precision in mapping a child's motion.
"A number of reflective markers are placed on a child's legs, while eight specially designed cameras placed around the room record how these markers move," Dr Grote said. "Several cameras track each marker to allow a computer to create a three-dimensional view of the child's motion.
"This enables the team to analyse a child walking from the side, front, back and above _ all at once."
[..]The laboratory is one of just a few paediatric clinical gait analysis labs in Australia. It is also involved in developing a pilot that will examine the way children move their arms and fingers.