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  1. #1

    BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    Attention Biomechanists,
    I am interning at a lab that is considering purchasing equipment from BTS Bioengineering, specifically the integrated system including: Motion Capture, Force-Plates, and EMG,

    Knowing BTS is a relatively new company, I am weary of the accuracy and whether the software is user-friendly.

    If you have any experience with the BTS system or a similar system that allows for simultaneous measurement of Motion Capture, Force production and EMG activity, please share your experience.

    I am really interested in hearing your thoughts on the BTS system, the good, the bad, the things to avoid, or even alternate considerations away from BTS. We appreciate all the help we receive as the purchase of the system is time-urgent.

    Thank you kindly for your time and attention,


    A.G. Schifino
    Last edited by a.g.schifino; 09-19-2017 at 09:58 PM.

  2. #2

    URGENT: Advice Needed - BTS Integrative System - Motion capture, emg, force plates

    Attention all experiences Biomechanists!!!!

    Our lab is considering the purchase of an integrated system including: Motion capture, force plates and EMG.

    If you have any prior experience with the BTS system (especially, the fully integrated system) PLEASE share with me your experience.

    Any and all information regarding your personal experience with the system/software and would like to share it would be much appreciated.

    Best,
    A.G. Schifino

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    9

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    What a great question and something that so many of us have to consider when we are looking to set up our labs. I spent 10+ years at Duke University Sports Medicine using various motion capture systems both in my role at Duke and in my role as a consultant for other groups so have worked with a range of companies over the years. I have not worked with BTS so I can't speak specifically to that company. However, 2+ years ago I changed institutions and moved to Virginia Tech to direct the GranataLab and was again faced with this decision of the right equipment (MoCap, FP, EMG, plantar loading) and this time under the constraints of a state school. After many conversations with a variety of trusted colleagues and in discussions with other vendors to ensure compatibility across the systems I decided to purchase Qualisys for the MoCap work that I was going to be pursing. Though their installation team was available, Ichoose to install the system myself based on how quickly I needed to be up and running as well as my desire to have the system set to my preferences as quickly as possible I just read the manual and used the information I had been taught over the years regarding MoCap system setup and I was able to get the system installed and up and running before the installer from Qualisys arriving on campus. The process of setup and the navigation of the software is very intuitive. The terminology is different for every MoCap system, but this was not a huge challenge either, things made sense and the manual was easy to follow. I was able to digitally integrate Qualisys with my EMG system (Delysis), force plates (AMTI) as well as working with Novel (probably the most challenging to synch but only too about an hour) to integrate in-shoe pressure measurement (Pedar). We did not initially integrate with real-time collection in Visual3D, but have since made that change as well with very minimal time commitment. Since my arrival at Virginia Tech, Qualisys has provide two additional systems and we are in the process of finalizing a group support and service agreement for the multiplesystems on campus to enhance our needs. I have not regretted the decision to go with Qualisys and it has been both an amazing research tool, but also allows me to teach my students (Grad, undergrad, and medical) how to collect and process MoCap and other biomechanical data in a very efficient manner. As you are making this decision I suggest you contact Qualisys to see if they have a solution that will work for you. They are always willing discuss system sizes and help you determine what is best for your application, at least that has been my experience. Just to make it easier for you if you are interested, you can take a look at their system on the websitewww.qualisys.com or you can contact Dan India (847-945-1411) who is the Head of the Americas Division of Qualisys. If you happen to be on the East Coast you can also contact Scott Coleman (Scott.Coleman@qualisys.com) Technical Sales Manager. Good luck with the decision and with the lab setup.

    Cheers,
    Robin Queen, PhD, FACSM
    Director: Kevin Granata Biomechanics Lab
    BEAM
    Virginia Tech


    Quote Originally Posted by a.g.schifino View Post
    Attention Biomechanists,

    My lab is considering purchasing equipment from BTS Bioengineering, specifically the integrated system including: Motion Capture, Force-Plates, and EMG,

    Knowing BTS is a relatively new company, I am weary of the accuracy and whether the software is user-friendly.

    If you have any experience with the BTS system or a similar system that allows for simultaneous measurement of Motion Capture, Force production and EMG activity, please share your experience.

    I am really interested in hearing your thoughts on the BTS system, the good, the bad, the things to avoid, or even alternate considerations away from BTS. We appreciate all the help we receive as the purchase of the system is time-urgent.

    Thank you kindly for your time and attention,

    A.G. Schifino
    was hoping to

  4. #4

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    What a great question and something that so many of us have to consider when we are looking to set up our labs. I spent 10+ years at Duke University Sports Medicine using various motion capture systems both in my role at Duke and in my role as a consultant for other groups so have worked with a range of companies over the years. I have not worked with BTS so I can't speak specifically to that company. However, 2+ years ago I changed institutions and moved to Virginia Tech to direct the GranataLab and was again faced with this decision of the right equipment (MoCap, FP, EMG, plantar loading) and this time under the constraints of a state school. After many conversations with a variety of trusted colleagues and in discussions with other vendors to ensure compatibility across the systems I decided to purchase Qualisys for the MoCap work that I was going to be pursing. Though their installation team was available, Ichoose to install the system myself based on how quickly I needed to be up and running as well as my desire to have the system set to my preferences as quickly as possible I just read the manual and used the information I had been taught over the years regarding MoCap system setup and I was able to get the system installed and up and running before the installer from Qualisys arriving on campus. The process of setup and the navigation of the software is very intuitive. The terminology is different for every MoCap system, but this was not a huge challenge either, things made sense and the manual was easy to follow. I was able to digitally integrate Qualisys with my EMG system (Delysis), force plates (AMTI) as well as working with Novel (probably the most challenging to synch but only too about an hour) to integrate in-shoe pressure measurement (Pedar). We did not initially integrate with real-time collection in Visual3D, but have since made that change as well with very minimal time commitment. Since my arrival at Virginia Tech, Qualisys has provide two additional systems and we are in the process of finalizing a group support and service agreement for the multiplesystems on campus to enhance our needs. I have not regretted the decision to go with Qualisys and it has been both an amazing research tool, but also allows me to teach my students (Grad, undergrad, and medical) how to collect and process MoCap and other biomechanical data in a very efficient manner. As you are making this decision I suggest you contact Qualisys to see if they have a solution that will work for you. They are always willing discuss system sizes and help you determine what is best for your application, at least that has been my experience. Just to make it easier for you if you are interested, you can take a look at their system on the websitewww.qualisys.com or you can contact Dan India (847-945-1411) who is the Head of the Americas Division of Qualisys. If you happen to be on the East Coast you can also contact Scott Coleman (Scott.Coleman@qualisys.com) Technical Sales Manager. Good luck with the decision and with the lab setup.

    Cheers,
    Robin Queen, PhD, FACSM
    Director: Kevin Granata Biomechanics Lab
    BEAM
    Virginia Tech



    Dr. Queen, I really appreciate your advice and the time you took to write a response. I am brand new to the Kinesiology Department at the University of Georgia (the lab currently looking into a new system), but based off discussions with my research adviser and colleagues, we are more interested in Force Plate and EMG systems, the fact of the matter is BTS offered a fully-integrated system (including Mo-Cap and Biodex integration, along with EMG and Force Plates). Another system we are considering is the Noraxon (if you have any further experience). My experience with these systems is very limited, although from my understanding, we are considering Qualisys as an option. Thank you again for your response.


    Albino G. Schifino
    Research Intern
    University of Georgia
    Department of Kinesiology
    Last edited by a.g.schifino; 09-19-2017 at 10:04 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    Great question. Like many of the earlier posts, I also had to make similar decisions 15 years ago regarding motion capture, EMG, and force platforms. My situation is slightly different than your scenario of being a PhD student at a large university, so I thought it worthwhile to add my 2-cents. The difference for me was that I am at a small state university and would need to purchase components separately and in small chunks over time. Additionally, I had the limitation of only having very practically oriented undergraduate and master level students (e.g., human performance, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, etc.), not dedicated biomechanics master and PhD students. This latter limitation prompted needing a solution that would allow students to quickly be able to become involved in answering very applied research questions without having extensive biomechanical measurement coursework. Thus, for my needs, I needed a backbone that would allow growth over time with components from various vendors without requiring extensive software and procedural changes, as well as the ability for the undergraduate and masterís level students to perform data reduction without requiring too much faculty time. For this reason, I went with TheMotionMonitor (www.innsport.com ). We also initially purchased an extended range electromagnetic system from Innsport and integrated our existing AMTI forceplate. Over the past 15 years, we have transitioned over to using 12 Vicon cameras for motion capture, added several additional forceplates, two EMG systems (Delsys and Noraxon) as well as many other pieces of hardware (e.g., Biodex, loadcells, pressure sensors, custom built hardware, etc.). To date, we still use TheMotionMonitor as the backbone of our operations. Upgrading and adding the additional hardware has been seamless. I have found their support team to extremely responsive and helpful. Oftentimes they can readily help troubleshooting the various hardware, and when needed, will serve as a liaison with the various vendors. This has been a huge help and time save for me as I am not a traditionally trained biomechanist.

    Again, just my perspective and experience from being at a smaller institution working with students with very applied interests. Because they have been successful in meeting our needs with our limitations, I donít hesitate in giving them a recommendation towards meeting the scenario you describe.

    Take care,
    Bryan Riemann, PhD, ATC
    Biodynamics and Human Performance Center
    Armstrong State University
    Savannah, GA USA

  6. #6

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    Thank your for taking the time to craft a response, and furthermore, for going into the details. This is the first I have heard of TheMotionMonitor, I will certainly give their products a look. One question I would like to direct back to you is about your EMG systems. You mentioned having both the Delsys and Noraxon. Currently, we are looking at both of these systems, as possible new pieces to our lab. I would really appreciate if you could share any insight on the systems, how they compare and contrast, a general sense of their usability.

    Thank you, once again for your time and attention Dr. Riemann.


    A.G. Schifino
    Research Intern
    University of Georgia

  7. #7

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    I would like to reiterate what Dr. Riemann has stated. TheMotionMonitor (www.innsport.com) allows integration of devices from any hardware manufacturer. Furthermore, integrating a new piece of hardware is easy, especially with the outstanding support provided.

    I have found working with TheMotionMonitor to be particularly helpful, since I work at a physical therapy school. The software is intuitive and accessible to clinical students and faculty. Additionally I can easily work with a single piece of hardware at one time. This is most useful for class demonstrations.

    Lastly the ability to create preference files for data collection and analysis allows one to easily transition from one research protocol to the next. I have found this extremely useful when working with multiple research groups who aim to utilize various technologies in their differing research projects.

    Choose wisely,
    John Fox, PhD
    Motion Analysis Lab
    Methodist University
    Fayetteville, NC

  8. #8

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    I am currently a user of the integrated BTS system at a children's hospital in Texas. Our system currently has 14 infrared cameras, 3 vixta video cameras, 12 force plates, 10 surface EMG channels and fine wire probes. We currently perform gait and upper extremity studies on our patients and are beginning Sports studies as well. As a system, I have been pleased with BTS as they have been very collaborative and responsive from the installation process to current day. We have been using the system for a little over 2 years. We have received support from their team located in NY as well as their home base of Italy. We have also been able to collaborate with other labs in Latin America. Regarding functionality of the system, we have been quite pleased with the efficiency of their 3D system as well as the ease in report building when we wanted to customize our reports for our center. Since original purchase, we have upgraded our EMG system from the Free 300 to the Free1000 and have been more pleased with this operating system. We occasionally have some difficulty with their vixta analog video system and some interference with EMG channels on our wifi system - but those are truly the depth of the issues, which I think is impressive. Additionally, they were willing to work with our organization to find HIPPA compliant approaches for our EMR, which may not be necessary for your setting, but is an example of their willingness to collaborate with their customers. I would be happy to speak with you in greater depth if you have additional questions. Hope this helps some.

  9. #9

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    Dear A.G.,

    I would be happy to speak to some of your questions and concerns.

    BTS Bioengineering, in fact has over 30 years of experience in motion analysis technology. The company was founded in 1986, so we have been providing motion capture, wireless EMG, and force plates for many years. We are the only company in the world the produces motion capture, EMG, force plates, and analysis software, so all of these components are designed to work together natively, and you can purchase an entire motion analysis lab out of one hand. This eliminates any hassles with integration of third party systems, which all other companies require.

    Our technology is FDA approved and countless research articles have been published using BTS systems, so you can be assured that our technology has extremely high accuracy. The SMART-DX 3D motion capture cameras, for example, have an accuracy of 0.1 mm in a 6m x 6m x 3m volume.

    World renowned research universities and hospitals from around the US and the world use BTS technology on a daily basis. In fact over 1,000 centers have our technology and over 1,000,000 motion analyses are performed each year using a BTS system. To make BTS systems accessible to anyone, whether the user is a physical therapist, biomechanist, athletic trainer, doctor, or engineer, we pride ourselves in having easy to use software with built in analysis protocols that come with the system and can be customized.

    If you would like to speak to any centers that use BTS technology, I would be happy to put you in touch with them directly. We are currently building a website to create an online community of BTS users, and you can see just a few of the centers using BTS systems at http://btsmotionsociety.org/.

    Please also let me know if you would like me to send you any journal articles published using our technology. You can reach me anytime at will.vandenberg@btsbioengineering.com or by phone at 929-255-9134.

    Have a great day,

    Will Vandenberg
    Lead Applications and Sales Engineering
    BTS Bioengineering

  10. #10

    Re: BTS Bioengineering System - Use of the Integrative System

    We have had an integrated BTS system (10 motion capture cameras at 500 Hz, six force plates, EMG and three plain video cameras) and could not be happier. We started with just one of their EMG systems, to which I still refer as the sexiest EMG out there, and the full system is just as good. Obviously, the integration is great, but it also has the capacity to add other analog data, I believe 64 channels at a time. The software for acquisition is the easiest that I have ever used; I have previously used either in our lab or at a collaborator's Qualisys (admittedly, an older system), Motion Analysis Corp and Vicon. Their analysis software is also great (though I split time between that, Visual3D and MATLAB; the BTS software can output data either of the latter two can read) and is programmed via processing blocks that the user connects, similarly to LabView. They're also relatively inexpensive, which isn't a bad thing either. Support has been excellent, and they are always happy to make modifications to their pre-canned analysis routines and reports in response to user requests. Couldn't be more pleased!

    Cheers,
    -Ian Kremenic

    Ian Kremenic, MEng
    Research Associate
    Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Northwell Health
    New York, NY
    http://www.nismat.org
    ian@nismat.org
    You snooze, you lose; well, I have snost and lost.
    --M. Doughty

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