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rbrookham12
09-17-2009, 11:36 PM
Dear Subscribers,
Recently we sent out a Biomechanics Software Survey attempting to
identify capabilities of the packages and the experiences of users.
Below is a compilation of the responses. Responses (in percentages of
total responses) have been summarized into sections by software
program and include verbatim user comments. We thank all of those who
participated in the survey (total of 76 participants). Please be
advised that these are the opinions of users and are not necessarily
indicative of the software capabilities (for example, a suggested
software limitation may be indicative of a need for more individual
training, rather than an actual software deficiency). We hope that
this information will be of benefit to subscribers when deciding which
software package will best fit their research needs.
Sincerely,
Rebecca Brookham, M.Sc.
Diana De Carvalho, M.Sc.
David Frost, M.Sc.
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Wells, Ph.D.
University of Waterloo

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A total of 76 participants responded to the survey.
The following job titles were listed (as a percentage of total respondents):
Clinician 2.6%
Faculty 18.2%
Graduate Student 36.4%
Post Doc 7.8%
Researcher 27.3%
Researcher/Clinician 5.2%
Technician 2.5%

These software programs were used by the following percentages of respondents:
AnyBody 6.6%
LifeMod 3.9%
OpenSim 11.8%
Templo 11.8%
Visual 3D 26.3%
Vicon Bodybuilder 17.1%
Other 22.5%

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The following rate scale was used for rating throughout the survey:
6. Very good
5. Good
4. Satisfactory
3. Unsure
2. Poor
1. Very poor

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**AnyBody Summary**
Total number of participants that used this software: 5
How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
a few days: 20.0%
a few weeks: 60.0%
a month or longer: 20.0%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself: 60.0%
combination: 40.0%

Number of projects completed with this software:
1 project: 0%
5-10 projects: 100%
10-20 projects: 0%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*Ergonomic/human factors, coupling with Finite Element Analysis
programs; control group data of gait, sit-stand, stairs Knee
arthroplasty assessment pre- and post-operative of the above
activities; Monte-carlo parameter study of the model inputs; Skiing
simulations; Hip Arthroplasty; Modeling of musculoskeletal system in
hand and leg.

The following are the average ratings and (ranges):
Capabilities (what it can do): 5.4 (4-6)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 5.4 (4-6)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 4.8 (4-6)
Technical support: 5.6 (5-6)
User-friendliness: 5.6 (4-5)

Comments (verbatim): In your opinion, what does this software do
particularly well and what are the limitations?
*Anybody fosters and encourages collaboration in building
musculoskeletal models; The model library available is of quite high
quality. At the same time it lives and dies by it's available models
and deviations from what is available can quickly become difficult
and/or tedious; An efficient inverse dynamic MS modelling system, with
a fantastic support base; Model repositories are continually updated
in the strive to model more accurately; 3D musculoskeletal simulation;
Allows a large amount of user interaction with the structure of the
model and so is very good in a research environment; code-based,
universal, good muscle model, etc; Need to understand the modelling
process before using programme; Tools to help build models or
variations of models would be welcome; Limitations are the same for
all other packages, i.e. generic scaling laws from a single
anthropometric set, simplified joints (DOF). No forward dynamics.

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
*Look at several of the available webinars on the Anybody Technology
site and download a free trial; Support is valuable with this software
so it would also be a good idea to look at working with channel
partners of the software nearby; The tutorials are great, but you'll
need a few weeks to get to grips with the software package. Be aware
of the all the parameters that can be changed in the baseline model
repository; Download the 1 month free tryout and do the tutorials;
Because AnyBody is script-based, it requires some programmings skills,
but that also makes it versatile; Download the demo version to see if
it is suitable for you. Sign up to the user forum because the AnyBody
technical support is very good; It is a powerful tool for inverse
dynamic analysis.

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**LifeMOD Summary**
Total number of participants that used this software: 3
How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
a few days: 33.3%
a month or longer: 66.7%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself: 33.3%
combination: 66.7%

Number of projects completed with this software:
1 project: 0%
5-10 projects: 100%
10-20 projects: 0%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*Validation studies on kinematic modeling Integration with FE modeling
of the tibia Drop landing data verification; 3D normal knee modeling;
Analyze behaviour of Knee with no ACL duirng [sic] walking
Biomechanical respomses [sic] of patella alta and DTTTS surgery during
squat rising; Evaluation of spinal kinematics and instrumentation
load/motion behavior for our products.

The following are the average ratings and (ranges).
Capabilities (what it can do): 5.0 (5-5)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 5.0 (5-5)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 5.3 (5-6)
Technical support: 5.3 (4-6)
User-friendliness: 3.7 (2-5)

Comments (verbatim): In your opinion, what does this software do
particularly well and what are the limitations?
*It does multibody dynamical systems quite well; it is not good at all
at muscle related variables; user friendly; well modelling of flexible
objects; Robust, since built on top of ADAMS solver; User interface is
a bit clunky (ADAMS viewer not geared toward musculoskeletal
modeling), but that will change with upcoming major platform upgrade
of LifeMod in next few months.

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
*You really have to know what you're doing to use this software; Do
not approach if your general software skills aren't up to snuff; Try
and play with the software alot... find yourself easy tasks to get
worm [sic] on to software; Try to solve the problem at least with two
different ways; Do not hesitate to ask the dealer if you have any
problem; Talk with the folks at LifeModeler, Inc.! Very friendly and
helpful.

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**OpenSim Summary**
Total number of participants that used this software: 9
How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
A few hours: 22.2%
A few days: 22.2%
A few weeks: 11.2%
A month or longer: 44.4%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself: 11.1%
trained by colleagues: 77.8%
combination: 11.1%

Number of projects completed with this software:
1 project: 22.2%
5-10 projects: 55.6%
10-20 projects: 11.1%
Many (>20) projects: 11.1%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*examining different movement patterns in cerebral palsy; Muscle force
analysis; Modeling hominid bipedalism; muscle actuated simulations of
overground walking; muscle actuated simulations of pathological gait;
muscle actuated simulations of squatting; muscle actuated simulations
of high speed motions (two footed jump, one footed hop, single leg
reverse of direction); wrote and used a custom plug-in for calculating
joint contact forces and moments; calculated joint contact loads
during walking; Creating and analyzing simulations; although I have
yet to really "complete" a project with OpenSim; Three-dimensional,
muscle-actuated simulations of running, walking, and jumping; Forward
dynamic simulations of the upper extremity, particularly the wrist and
hand; lower extremity musculoskeletal modeling of the extrinsic foot
muscle forces and of the knee joint; simulations of simple dynamic
models (pendulums, etc); able-bodied gait simulations; impaired gait
simulations

The following are the average ratings and (ranges).
Capabilities (what it can do): 5.4 (5-6)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 5.1 (4-6)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 4.4 (2-6)
Technical support: 3.9 (1-5)
User-friendliness: 4.2 (2-5)

Comments (verbatim):
In your opinion, what does this software do particularly well and what
are the limitations?
* quickly create subject-specific dynamic simulations; computed muscle
control is great; great visualization; offers all the tools you need
to do common gait analysis (scaling, inverse kinematics, inverse
dynamics, muscle/tendon physiology) and also many more; it
incorporates small tools for support, like plotting, analyses, user
designed plug-in support, and visualization; has more advanced tools
like residual reduction and computed muscle control; freely available;
makes advanced simulation and analysis algorithms available; allows
adding your own plug-ins; GUI is very useful and versatile; Free-ware
that provides a platform for researchers around the world to perform
various analyses using musculoskeletal modeling and share the projects
with one another; the software is still being developed and is
constantly implementing new tools; Free is a huge plus; complex
models, muscle-actuated simulation; OpenSim gives you the freedom to
change and extend your models and simulation. However, because it is
more extensible, there is a slight learning curve that is necessary to
become a proficient user; Program structure is not transparent,
difficult to incorporate outside code; scaling is horrendous; program
crashes often during CMC and RRA; not that easy to manipulate models;
you must have a certain basic comfort with biomechanics and simulation
in order to get meaningful results; there are so many parameters for
every application that you will often spend hours, days, or even weeks
trying to figure out why something didn't work correctly (could be
something as simple as a typo), but this may be inevitable considering
that all of these parameters may be needed for various applications

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
* go to one of the OpenSim training sessions; allow lots of time and
be very patient!; Try it out yourself, not necessary to go to
workshops; make good use of the online forums for getting information,
materials, code etc, and for asking questions; if you use the "report
bug" option within the software the team will track it down; it's not
so hard to generate a simulation in OpenSim; but generating an
accurate simulation could take you weeks, months, or even years;
analyzing a simulation and gaining confidence in your results could
also take the same amount of time; choose your projects carefully; The
software is freely available at SimTK.org. Additionally, join the
community forum where you can ask questions and get help; the OpenSim
development team offers users workshops at conferences and on
Stanford's campus; it is a very powerful dynamics engine capable of a
variety of analyses; I would suggest people to try it and depending on
what they do, it might work fine...but remember that it is still in
the development phase and is constantly changing; make sure you have
knowledge of the algorithms used and simulation steps to make sure you
are using a method appropriate to what you want to accomplish

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**CONTEMPLAS Templo Summary**
Total number of participants that used the software: 9

How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
a few minutes: 33.3%
a few hours: 55.5%
a few days: 11.2%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself: 22.2%
trained by manufacturer: 22.2%
combination: 55.6%

Number of projects completed with this software:
5-10 projects: 44.4%
10-20 projects: 11.2%
Many (>20) projects: 44.4%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*Different projects in sport practice; running and cycling analysis
gait analysis in 2 D; capturing of linear and multidirectional
movements; golf swing analysis for spine, wrist, hip and shoulder
health research; qualitative video analysis with pressure distribution
measurement; quantitative clinical gait analysis (2D); feedback
training (jumps on force plates); prosthesis adaption with video and
force vector overlay; Running Analysis; Optimizing jump capabilities;
jump diagnostics - course analysis; determination of selective
biomechanical parameters

The following are the average ratings and (ranges).
Capabilities (what it can do): 5.1 (4-6)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 5.3 (4-6)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 5.5 (5-6)
Technical support: 5.5 (4-6)
User-friendliness: 5.3 (4-6)

Comments (verbatim):
In your opinion, what does this software do particularly well and what
are the limitations?
*The software package works very well in all it states; It delivers
quick results; is very well able to make effects visible and
understandable; videobased 2d software package stand alone or in
combination with emg, pressure destribution or force plate data; easy
to use; quick capture & basic analysis; Options for detailed analysis;
perfect for gait and golfswing analysis; Video analysis in combination
with force platforms, pressure distribution, EMG and other analog
data; high-speed camera recording, mobile high-speed systems,
user-defined simple application protocol; good working software; easy
to use; is suited for coaches; it is limited by nature in complex
measurements; the limtations [sic] are more in hardware/camera and the
video codec problems for export issues; limitations: number of cameras

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
*"Play around" with the software and explore the options in terms of
creating custom made templates; use the support; an easy to use 2d
software package; userfriendly; easy to learn; Dont buy software only,
let contemplas configer you a system that fits your job; TEMPLO is a
perfect solution for quick and simple motion analysis. It will not
replace Vicon or Visual3D but it can easily be used in addition to
these (much more expensive) products; Hi Speed cameras and Dv cameras;
Try it you'll like it; have a look at the demoversions; less suited
for temporal analysis

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**Vicon bodybuilder Summary**
Total number of participants that used the software: 13

How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
a few minutes: 15.3%
a few hours: 7.6%
a few days: 46.1%
a few weeks: 23.1%
a month or longer: 7.9%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself: 15.4%
trained by manufacturer: 23.1%
trained by colleagues: 38.4%
combination: 23.1%

Number of projects completed with this software:
1 project: 38.5%
5-10 projects: 38.5%
10-20 projects: 15.4%
many(>20) projects: 7.6%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*Shoulder biomechanics; Sports biomechanics/full body kinematics for
the golf swing; kinetic full body model for (highly) dnamic [sic]
movements in different sports; high performance running analysis; ICC
cricket testing; gait analysis; running; knee pain; orthotics;
jumping; hopping; Cutting movements of volleyball players; wrote
program for modeling multi-segment foot motion; gait analysis;
functional task analysis; biomechanical movement analysis in sports
and clinical research as well as implementation of the system in
teaching; Have not completed any. I made my own software, in the end
but was most familiar with Body Builder as my alternative; human
movement during various exercises using EMG, forceplate; kinematics
and kinetics of landing in elite volleyball players (added in EMG);
kinematics and kinetics of cricket bowlers; clinical assessments

The following are the average ratings and (ranges).
Capabilities (what it can do): 4.8 (4-6)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 4.3 (2-5)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 4.1 (2-6)
Technical support: 3.9 (2-6)
User-friendliness: 3.6 (2-5)

Comments (verbatim):
In your opinion, what does this software do particularly well and what
are the limitations?
* Changes to model can be run immediately; Large number of models
already written that can be adapted; works really well when it
recognizes the markers and can batch process quickly; Language is
simple but its not intuitive; kinematics of arbitrary systems captured
with the VICON system (well integrated); Easy to use and a straight
fwrd language meaning it is easy to get data; This software can
complete basic calculations well, anything too demanding and it seems
to have a heart attack; Good at modelling euler angles, but under very
specific conditions; Easy to program; very stable; Data recording is
done well; It provides kinetic and kinematic results directly from the
hardware it was just recorded from; great information; (Polygon) Nice
graphics for presentation to the patient/provider limitations show up
during extensive kinetic analysis; there are gliches [sic] in the
software that are still being identified and fixed; seems to crash at
times for no reason; When markers are lost it is difficult and
frustrating to fill them in; tech support runs out after a certain
period of time, and must be paid for to be continued; When writing
code you have to do it in word or note pad; Not the best way to
organize data; Hate how you have to move into Matlab for a lot of the
more complicated processing; Crashes a lot; Not so good at
flexibility; Limited programmability; poor debugging help; user based
changes of models or calibration options (direction of GRF display
upward whyle arrows also upward) is difficult or not possible;
Limitations are that it gives results without the user knowing exaclty
[sic] what went on to get these results. I think this may lead to
errors of knowing which trials were successful and lead to
interpretation errors; does not track markers well with higher
velocity movements; not very logical when things go wrong (ie. when
add in EMG it crashes a lot); ; poor stability - crashes constantly
without consistancy, no good manual

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
*Get a lot of training before starting a project - if not, the wrong
set-up could mean your data is usless [sic]; Read the manual back to
front; Try to get to a training course run by VICON; Work with someone
with some experience with the program; Ask someone with experience in
the Bodybuilder language, the documentation is inaccurate and
sometimes misleading; Before starting the analysis be shure [sic]
about what you are capturing and be aware of all influences on the
captured data; Design your own markerset; Make sure you have the
compatibility settings set to XP as Vista does not run well (crashes
and buggy) with the program when you use the pipeline to Matlab
functions; Do not expect it to be easy - even the manufacturer was
clueless for one of our projects, we had to resort to MATLAB; Take
care!!!; Pay for the Vicon support; Make sure, you first exacly [sic]
know, what you want to do / measure and what do you need for that; In
many cases you will need additional software (or matlab capabilities)
to process your data; First investigate all possibilities, check data
for errors, missing samples, marker loss / change of marker names, and
ensure to use only trials with the foot safely inside the force plate;
requires a computer with fast processing speeds; get training!;
Patience and a direct link to Vicon for help

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**Visual 3D Summary**
Total number of participants that used the software: 20

How much training did you require to use this software confidently?
a few hours: 15.0%
a few days: 25.0%
a few weeks: 30.0%
a month or longer: 30.0%

Who trained you to use this program?
trained myself 10.0%
trained by manufacturer 10.0%
trained by colleagues 15.0%
combination 65.0%

Number of projects completed with this software:
1 project: 5.0%
5-10 projects: 65.0%
10-20 projects: 15.0%
many(>20) projects: 15.0%

Outline the types of research projects you have completed with this software:
*Gait analysis; Kinematic and kinetic projects e.g. gait/motion
analysis; Inverse dynamics on gait, stair locomotion, ballet and
kicking mechanics; Gait; Posture orthopaedic surgery; measurement
error study; gait and motion analysis of overweight children compared
to normal-weight children; analysis of human gait; landing movements;
football movements; Comparison of sports technic; Motion analysis;
Shoes test; Gait analysis; neuromuscular disorders; sports
enhancement; Gait analysis of lower limb amputees; Kicking; reaching;
throwing; running; gait; taekwondo; jumping; Studies into the effects
of changing the mechanical characteristics of sports equipment on
performance, using a robot as well as human participants; many gait
studies; Gait; exercise interventions; balance; sit-to-stand; various
populations of participants; lower extremity kinetic and kinematic
analyses; multi-segment foot modeling; Balance; joint biomechanics
during activities; Amputee gait kinematics; Corrections of posture and
static problems by various kind of classical insoles, compared to
neuro-musculare treatments; Forefoot cushioning during landing from a
hop: effects on joint kinematics and joint stiffness; Gait anaylsis;
Clinical gait analysis (pediatrics); Developed a new foot model; ACL
study

The following are the average ratings and (ranges).
Capabilities (what it can do): 5.7 (4-6)
Proficiency (does what you want it to do well): 5.6 (4-6)
Stability (ie. program does not crash often): 5.4 (3-6)
Technical support: 5.5 (3-6)
User-friendliness: 5.1 (3-6)

Comments (verbatim):
In your opinion, what does this software do particularly well and what
are the limitations?
*The software is quite transparent and flexible; The tech support is
excellent; No limitations are coming to mind; This software is
particularly good at post processing; Create models, process data;
Visual3D allows the user complete freedom to model how they want to -
there are no hidden fudge factors etc, which are often hidden in other
software; The support you receive is quick and thorough; software
allows for use of functional joint centers and is easy to configure
(does not require experience with coding to retrieve information);
software performs analysis that we need; User-friendliness; Able to
program own model into software; Visual based modelling, integration
with motion capture manufacturers for real time data. Keep up to date
with current literature; Batch processing of multiple files is a great
feature; Very well: Standard inverse dynamics; various processing of
kinetic and kinematic data; Easily adaptable to different studies; It
can process just about any type of signal; Model building / marker
setup variations; pipeline processing allows data sets to be processed
quickly; Pipeline is a good feature for processing data; Quite easy to
use with minimal training. If one is looking to measure joint and
segment kinematics, this software will very quickly output the desired
measures; Perfect in easy-to-use; perfect in reporting for customer;
very good overlay-function; good value for price; Graphical outputs
are good; It is a good example of software made by scientists - the
development philosophy matches my user philosophy; I like that all
procedures are published in the literature; limited only by lack of
knowledge of how it achieves the calculations; main limiting factor is
the massive capabilities of the software - most users will only ever
use 25% of the functions; although originally purchased as software
that could be used for a number of project set ups, some procedures
are very limiting; Limitation: Method to define local coordiante
system; No import of interial paramaters of segment (e.g. prosthetic
leg); Steep learning curve, pipeline can be tricky; so mathematical
limitations; Limitations are that is can be cumbersome to manage and
re-process data from a complete study; I am having difficulties with
the Matlab interface; Limitations: curve analysis - analyzing various
features of a particular curve is difficult; It takes some time to
learn to use all of the functionality. It is also fairly expensive; it
is a bit of a 'black box' for such analysis. Often, the analysis
method is set-up initially by someone else and all the user needs to
do is create a model and digitise the motion capture data for
importing. Unfortunately, for a beginner, you have no idea how it is
exactly processing the data. But when it works, it works!

What advice would you have for someone interested in using this
software package?
* It is very good; Complete the online tutorials; Do not forget the
accuracy of the data acquisition; Learn to use the pipelines; Spend
time going over the series of tutorials provided by the company;
Ensure that they gain sufficient training and supervised time with
Visual3D - try to explore some more of the advanced functions; It is
expensive but, I think, worth it; The support cannot be understated;
Good start but other applications are still required; Very Good; Best
motion analysis software on the market!; Have a good understanding of
DLT; No consider the device as a black box; Very high quality but
requires some hard work to fully understand practice practice and
practice; Make sure you get a good and thorough introduction /
training; take the time to learn things properly as this will save a
lot of time in the long run; Learn to use the pipeline process; be
careful that model is created correclty for each application; Dedicate
someone in your lab that has previous programming experience to learn
the software and then have them teach everyone else; Use the customer
support because it is excellent; I think it's a phenomenal program; I
recommend it to all and am thankful that I have access to this
program; The online manual on c-motion.com is very helpful; Highly
suggested for anyone looking to quickly process large amounts of
kinematic data; However, if you need complete control over your
analysis methods, spend some time looking under the lid of this 'black
box.'; Try it out!; Have a fast computer; Do not be wowed by the
graphics or disappointed in the time it takes to become a good
programmer

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**Other software programs**

The following programs received 2 or less responses. We felt there was
not enough data to fairly post these responses. Furthermore we were
concerned about maintaining participant's anonymity.

**20sim**
**Autolev**
**Caren**
**FEBio**
**KwonXP**
**LS-Dyna**
**Matlab**
**Motion Analysis**
**Motion Monitor**
**Peak-motus software**
**Qualysis 3-D infrared camera system+ AMTI force plate**
**SAM Summary**
**SIMM**
**SimMechanics**

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