Motion Amplification®

What is Motion Amplification®?

Motion Amplification® is a technique that uses proprietary video and image processing to detect subtle motion and make it visible to the naked eye in order to understand the interrelationships and causes creating the motion.

As industrial equipment, machinery, and other components operate, they often produce very small vibrations and movements. These vibrations are so small that they can’t be detected with the human eye. However, as pieces of machinery vibrate, components can become misaligned, imbalanced, loose, cracked, or worse. Such movement reduces efficiency, harms equipment, and can build up to catastrophic damage.

But by using a Motion Amplification® camera and software, it’s possible to detect such tiny movements and understand their effects. Motion Amplification® technology uses digital video and image processing techniques to measure vibration and movement pixel by pixel, extracting and scaling up data to produce a visual representation of movement.

The live video feed processes pixels in real time to show how vibrations and movements affect the whole system and supporting structures and can be recorded and post processed for advanced analysis. While conventional vibration analysis techniques can produce numerical data and charts that indicate vibration extent and damage, seeing is believing. Video Motion Amplification® provides a powerful, non-invasive visual representation of subtle movements and a rich, cost-effective means of analysis.

Motion Amplification® in Action

Using patented camera and software technology, Motion Amplification® involves turning every pixel in the camera’s view into a sensor to measure and record video vibration analysis and motion with incredible accuracy. From there, a proprietary video processing algorithm detects subtle motion and enlarges it to be visible to the naked eye.

Visualization provides a key difference in determining and understanding faults in machinery, infrastructure, and even processes in human bodies. While tools like accelerometers, strain gauges, and modeling software can detect and relay traditional vibration data, being able to see vibration problems and their potential solutions via video makes for a deeper impact than looking at only data and charts.

By visualizing, quantifying, and relaying structural assets’ movement, Motion Amplification® software provides a window into just how damaging vibrations and improper machinery movement can become. RDI’s Motion Amplification® technology can assess faults in machinery and other components by measuring the physical properties of movement and vibration, deflection, and displacement. How these terms relate to structural engineering is worth deeper understanding.

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Movement and Vibration

A still object rests in a state of equilibrium, but when a forced vibration sets a resting object in motion, it begins moving back and forth or vibrating. Vibration might seem harmless, but damage adds up. By assessing vibrations and where they’re occurring, Motion Amplification® vibration analysis visualizes faults in machinery and offers opportunities for preventative maintenance.


Deflection refers to the distance or angle that a structural component bends or twists from its original position when displaced by a force. When an object is vibrating, the deflection is typically too small to see with the naked eye, and that’s where Motion Amplification® comes in.


Displacement indicates the distance that an element or object has moved from its original location and can be measured in terms of distance and in terms of rotation. Displacement is a fundamental principle that Motion Amplification® measures.

Industry Applications

RDI Technologies’ patented Motion Amplification® technology helps people in numerous industries to visualize machinery and structural movements, accurately measure displacement data that’s generated by millions of camera pixels, and solve underlying problems.

By visualizing and amplifying movement that’s invisible to the naked eye, RDI’s proprietary Motion Amplification® cameras, software, and algorithms have fundamentally enhanced numerous industries’ abilities to monitor their machinery, processes, and products.

Being able to easily visualize and quantify data has greatly enhanced detection and early prevention of all matters of structural inefficiencies, imbalances, wear, and other faults that affect operational safety, efficiency, and output. By turning data into action, RDI Technologies’ revolutionary methods and Motion Amplification® equipment have been trusted and used by more than 600 corporate clients across 41 countries.

Below are just some of the key industries that have employed and can greatly benefit from RDI Technologies’ solutions.

Motion Amplification® in the Aerospace and Defense Industries

New technology and engineering innovations often first appear among the aerospace and defense industries. Testing new equipment’s properties and performance is as important as the very development of such technologies. Further, maintaining equipment and machinery over time is critical to both industries.

Cutting-edge technologies need cutting-edge tools to evaluate and monitor their performance during research and development stages and also after extended use. Yet even the latest, most advanced technology is subject to faults and wear due to vibration, which Motion Amplification® vibration analysis can detect. By visualizing and measuring movements happening at microscopic levels, motion enhancement technology ensures that the latest flight and defense technology performs at superior levels.

RDI’s Iris platform provides the Motion Amplification® camera and software needed to take advantage of the vibration diagnostic, monitoring, and test and measurement capabilities now possible. The aerospace and defense industries demand rigorous testing and development standards. Having the right tools to evaluate equipment and technology is critical, as is understanding their applications and potential.

Read more about Motion Amplification® in the Aerospace and Defense Industries.

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Motion Amplification® in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is constantly at work on new designs, components, technologies, and processes that make automobiles safer, faster, and more efficient. Designing and engineering automotives, from autobodies to engines to the myriad parts and pieces in between, involves plenty of testing and evaluation.

As part of this testing and evaluation, RDI’s Motion Amplification® technology can play a critical part. Being able to detect vibration throughout an automobile’s body or within a specific component or portion of a vehicle can offer insight into its performance, health, and even its comfort in terms of the driver. It is also key to understand how the components and interrelationships of components in the system work together.

The automotive industry’s focus on superior performance is both easily and instantly recognizable — we see sports cars and race cars that constantly vie to outrun competitors. Of equal importance, safety measures and their constant upgrade and evaluation are always of concern to the industry. Across these areas, video Motion Amplification® has many uses and applications.

Read more about Motion Amplification® in the Automotive Industry.

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Motion Amplification® in the Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry is the heartbeat of the economy, the engine that drives the production of goods for export, trade, and revenue generation. So many moving parts, both literally and figuratively, make up the manufacturing industry. And for all those literal parts in motion, a careful watch must be kept to ensure their continued proper functioning.

RDI’s Motion Amplification® cameras can help keep an eye on the machinery and components integral to any manufacturing site. Our Iris M™ takes millions of measurements in a fraction of a second, making it a one-of-a-kind system for equipment monitoring and root cause analysis.

Since output is a key measurement of manufacturing productivity, you’ll want to minimize equipment downtime and costly repairs. To do so, make predictive maintenance a priority. All those pieces and components are subject to common problems and faults, from looseness to misalignment to imbalanced machinery. Time will pass, and equipment will age, but maintaining machinery is the only way to keep small problems from becoming huge headaches.

So don’t let surprises occur. Keep your manufacturing site running efficiently and smoothly by letting Motion Amplification® technology see the problems before you do.

Read more about the many ways Motion Amplification® supports manufacturing.

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Motion Amplification® in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry provides critical resources to support countless other industries and activities. It goes without saying that piping, support systems, and complex machinery must run smoothly and operate constantly in order to maintain the flow and processing of these resources.

Compressors, piping, and other pieces of infrastructure are no stranger to the vibrational forces and mechanical faults that can harm operations and hurt efficiency. Yet, it’s not easy to keep watch over so much equipment, piping, and machinery. RDI’s Motion Amplification® provides a unique, diagnostic view of the piping and support systems that underlie the oil and gas industry’s critical infrastructural components which have largely gone unmonitored with traditional vibration analysis technologies.

Downtimes must be avoided at all costs, but when troubleshooting has to occur, the right tools and technology to quickly spot problems and figure out the source make all the difference.

Read more about Motion Amplification® in the Oil and Gas Industry.

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Motion Amplification® in the Power Generation Industry

The power generation industry involves many different types of industries, commodities, and resources, as traditional fossil fuels couple with nuclear power, wind energy, hydropower, and other sources of energy to power our world. Yet, almost all involve large machinery that contains pumps, turbines, and other rotating components that are subject to vibrational forces.

Tracking vibration and monitoring its effects are essential, as any power plant needs to be reliable and capable of continuous operation. Downtime can have huge effects on downstream consumers, which includes essentially all other industries and anyone connected to the power grid.

Power plants of all types have been no strangers to RDI’s Motion Amplification® technology. Our Iris M™ camera has been deployed to numerous power plants to help route out the underlying causes of vibrational problems. Looking at various types of power plants and the extent of their issues involving vibrational forces solidifies the importance of Motion Amplification® vibration analysis and monitoring for this critical industry.

Learn more how Motion Amplification® keeps the power generation industry running.

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