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Software Resources

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This a package of software and data that may be used for kinetic and kinematic analysis of planar human or animal motion.

The software and data supplied have been used in various research projects and student theses and are for research and educational purposes only. No commercial use of these programs or data files is granted without permission. These programs were originally written at the Kinesiology Department, University of Waterloo principally by Mr. John Pezzack and Dr. Gordon Robertson. Many others, including Dr. Herman Woltring, Dr. Richard Wells, Dr. Michael Pierrynowski and Mr. Walter Kuryliak, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Norman and Dr. David Winter, have contributed to their development.

Since 1980 the development of these programs has been under the supervision of Dr. Gordon Robertson, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa. New programs have since been written with the help of Mr. Don Bradley, Mr. Michael Marcoux and Mr. Edward Lemaire. As expected, software that has evolved over many years by numerous programmers (mostly on a voluntary basis) and programming styles is likely to have many hidden errors. Every effort has been made to deliver software that will run flawlessly on a suitable computer once the software has been installed correctly. Don't expect perfection and keep information requests to the author to an absolute minimum. Some documentation is available and we hope that you will find useful information among these many programs and data.

Contributed by D. Gordon E. Robertson, Ph.D. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please report problems and errors.

Links to most recent version at University of Ottawa:

Files on University of Ottawa web server (updated January 2008)

How to install the system:

To install, download the BIOMECH.EXE file to a hard disk directory then execute the following command:


When asked where to extract the files specify a root directory such as, C:\ or D:\.
Note, you MUST include the following statements in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file or add them as environment variables in WindowsXP:


where "x:" the the same drive letter used to install the software.

How to run the DOS software:

Several data files are included with the installation software, for example, WALK.DG and LONGJUMP.DG. To run these data through the system go to the subdirectory that contains the system, e.g., C:\BIOMECH, and execute the command:

To run the included sample data files start the program: BMWin98.exe

To animate the data use the program: Imager98.exe 

Graphing of results can be realized by the included software but this is better left to spreadsheet software, such as, Quattro Pro, Lotus 1-2-3 or Excel. After running the POWER program you may plot the powers produced by the moments of force by selecting the "J" option and entering the filenames, WALK.GRA or RUN.GRA. These files are used by the GRAPH program to describe how to graph the joint angular velocities, moments of force and power. The graphs are stored with file extensions, .PLT. These are HPGL files that may be imported into presentation software (PowerPoint), graphics software (CorelDRAW) or word processors (WordPerfect or Word). The files used to graph results are contained in the subdirectory, \BIOMECH\GRAPHS.

How to install the data files:

To install the sample data, download the file SAMPLES.ZIP (see above) to a suitable drive dearchive the files to a suitable drive. Note, the archive is divided into many subdirectories so only provide a drive letter, e.g., D:. The archiving software, e.g., WinZip will automatical create the subdirectories. The main directory is called SAMPLES.

The following activities are included in the archive: 

  • badminton clear shots
  • ballet grand jeté
  • basketball layup and free-throw
  • cart pushing up an incline
  • diving
  • hockey (slap and snap shots)
  • hurdling, running and sprinting (male and female)
  • jumping (various)
  • kicking (soccer and Karate front kick)
  • lifting
  • rowing (Gjessing ergometer and on water)
  • swim starting
  • walking (prosthetic, pathological and normal)

Some data files may be run by the simulation program, SIMULATE, for example, the LONGJUMP.DG data file. This program computes the trajectories of the body markers based upon the takeoff parameters contained in the file, LONGJUMP.SIM, and the relative motions of the joints. The relative motions are produced by the KINEMATICS program and are stored in the file, LONGJUMP.DR. To change the takeoff parameters use the program, INTERACT (press "I"). Note, these programs can only be run on certain data files that use either a 10-segment model of the body (no feet or hands) or a bilaterally symmetric, 6-segment model. These data files will be under the subdirectory, \SAMPLES\SIMULATE\....

Documentation and references:

Several text files are available with the software. These may be viewed by pressing "H" and then selecting the appropriate file. Much of the theory and equations used to compute the results may be found in the following references:

For kinematics (KINEMATIC program):

Pezzack, JC, Norman, RW and Winter, DA (1977) An assessment of derivative determining techniques used for motion analysis. J. Biomechanics, 10:377-387.

For mechanical energy and internal work analyses (ENERGY program):

Martindale, WO and Robertson, DGE (1984) Mechanical energy variations in single sculls and ergometer rowing. Can. J. Appl. Sport Sci. 9:153-163.

For computer simulation and angular momentum analyses (SIMULATE and MOMENTUM programs):

Lemaire, ED and Robertson, DGE (1988) Validation of a computer simulation for planar airborne human motions. J. Human Movement Studies, 18:213-228

For joint and segmental power analyses (POWER program):

Winter DA and Robertson, DGE (1978) Joint torque and energy patterns in normal gait. Biological Cybernetics, 29: 137-142.

Robertson, DGE and Winter, DA (1980) Mechanical energy generation, absorption and transfer amongst segments during walking. J. Biomechanics, 13:845-854.

For kinematics, inverse dynamics, mechanical energy and power analyses (KINEMATICS, ENERGY and FORCE programs):

Winter, D.A. (1984) Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movements. New York:Wiley Interscience.

Remember when in doubt or trouble consult a knowledgeable computer guru and/or the supplied documentation before writing the author. Only email will be accepted. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)