Thank you for all the replies. Here is a summary of the representative
__________________________________________________ __________
Greg Kawchuk BSc, DC, MSc, PhD.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arth. Research
Clinician, University Health Services

From: "Dawson, Derek (D.)"
To: 'Gregory Neil Kawchuk'
Subject: RE: [BIOMCH-L] Advances in Labview / Flock of Birds issues?

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Suggest you contact Ford Motor Company, Vehicle Operations Ergonomics
( or
Derek Dawson
Sandalwood Enterprises Inc.
On assignment at:
Ford Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Development Center
Phone: (313) 592-2916
Fax: (313) 592-2212


Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 15:26:46 -0400
From: J. Michael Lee
To: Gregory Neil Kawchuk
Cc: "Milne, Andrew" ,
Subject: Re: Advances in Labview / Flock of Birds issues?

Hi Greg:

Andrew Milne, a research engineer who formerly worked with me and
with Jim Johnson at Western, has had a lot of experience with the
Flock and LabVIEW. I'm going to copy this message to him (he's in Med
School here at Dal currently) and I'm sure he'll be happy to chat
with you about it. He has some routines which have been used in both
labs for orthopaedic and, well, nose-scanning applications.


Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 18:36:33 -0500
From: Sara Wilson
Subject: labview and flock

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It is a complete pain, but we managed to do it. I started
with a Labview driver that is available commercially and
tinkered my way to what I needed. The big secret I
found was to be very aware of the handshaking protocol
for the serial port. We ended up making a serial cable
with all of the handshaking lines cut (based on the wiring
in the manual). The other trick is to manage to stamp time
on the signal so you can match it up with A/D board data.
The driver we purchased was good for that and may be
worth avoiding the headache of doing it yourself (unless
you have a good Labview programmer on staff).


Sara E. Wilson, Ph.D. 2609F Hydraulic Road
University of Virginia Charlottesville,VA 22901 home (804) 295-7733
Motion Analysis and lab (804) 982-0849
Motor Performance Lab


Dear Greg,
This is just to let you know that I am also interested in responds to
your question.
At the moment we use the FoB proprietary DOS program and convert it
to MatLab for further processing. This works rather clumsy, but it
If you are interested in these things, let me know.
At Hof

At Hof
Department of Medical Physiology &
Laboratory of Human Movement Analysis AZG
University of Groningen
A. Deusinglaan 1, room 769

PO Box 196
Tel: (31) 50 3632645
Fax: (31) 50 3632751


Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 07:32:09 -0500
From: Richard Hughes
To: Gregory Neil Kawchuk
Subject: Re: Advances in Labview / Flock of Birds issues?

I have developed a LabView vi for the MotionStar, which is why I asked. I
know others have written it for the RS232. It really isn't hard to do.
The user manual gives all the information you need to construct the string
you send as a command. And the resulting data format is also
straight-forward. This is the sort of thing a summer engineering student
could do for you.

There are also consultants who will write these VIs for you, but I have
heard variable reports of the quality of their work. Although I suspect
that some of the "problems" people have encountered with the consultants
were really a reflection of poor specifications up front, you should
of any responses to your e-mail from consultants offering to write a VI
you. Check the person's previous customers.



I got this note that you sent to Glenn and Allison forwarded to me. I
with both of them at Ford, and am currently in the middle of setting up a
Human Simulation lab using Flock of Birds. I would be more than happy to
answer any questions you have the technology, as best I can. Some general
information is that the sensors used with Flock of Birds are driven using
magnetic fields to transmit signals to the main receiver. Therefore the
biggest concern is for interference from any metal in the area. I believe
that if you can keep metal out of an eight to ten foot radius of where you
will be working with the Flock of Birds you should be able to avoid any
distortion. Besides keeping hardware-type equipment (i.e. computers,
chairs) you also need to be aware of any metal studding in the walls or
metal in the floor.

The real-time capture of data is very good if you can avoid the metal
interference. I have used it in the past in conjunction with Transom Jack
software, a digital human simulation software developed originally here in
the States. The movies we have captured were accurate and captured actual
human motion much better than a person at a desk running a simulation. I
hope that this is the type of information you were looking for...please
free to contact me with any more specific questions you may have either
or in the future.

Patty Edison
VO Final - Ergonomics
(313) 317-7555

Hi Greg!
Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to you. I was out of the
I'm attaching zipped copies of some labview subvi's (saved in version 5.1)
and a readme file. These are just subvi's we use to test to see if we are
getting data. (You should be able to specify angle or position). The
program might not work if you don't have the same hardware at the same
addresses as we do. If you want to try and use them, give me a call and we
can discuss some changes if you are having problems.

I will be out again the rest of this week, but should be in by next Monday
(19th) and then hopefully no more trips for awhile.

Good Luck and I hope this helps!
JoAnne Riess

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