Tuesday Mar 30, 2010

Musculoskeletal System Modeling on the NetBeans Platform

Yet another NetBeans Platform application (discovered by Tom Wheeler) is OpenSim, which is described as follows in its 300+ page user guide:

OpenSim is a freely available software package that enables you to build, exchange, and analyze computer models of the musculoskeletal system and dynamic simulations of movement. OpenSim version 1.0 was introduced at the American Society of Biomechanics Conference in 2007, and with version 2.0, an application programming interface (API) has been added, allowing researchers to access and customize OpenSim core functionality. Since the initial release, thousands of people have begun to use the software in a wide variety of applications, including biomechanics research, medical device design, orthopedics and rehabilitation science, neuroscience research, ergonomic analysis and design, sports science, computer animation, robotics research, and biology and education.

The software provides a platform on which the biomechanics community can build a library of simulations that can be exchanged, tested, analyzed, and improved through multi-institutional collaboration. The core software is written in C++, and the graphical user interface (GUI) is written in Java. OpenSim plug-in technology makes it possible to develop customized controllers, analyses, contact models, and muscle models among other things. These plugins can be shared without the need to alter or compile source code.

Sounds like just about the most lifeaffirming NetBeans Platform application I have yet heard of. Here's a screenshot I found in aforementioned user guide, clearly showing we're dealing with a NetBeans Platform application here:

Here's a description of the above GUI:

OpenSim provides a graphical user interface that provides access to many of the software features. For example, you can import motion analysis data, scale a computer model of the musculoskeletal system, perform inverse dynamics analysis, and plot results all from the graphical interface. Models of many different musculo-skeletal structures, including the lower extremity, upper extremity, and neck, can be loaded, viewed and analyzed. Muscles are shown as red lines; virtual markers are shown as blue spheres.

This is also yet another application where there are few/none official mentions on the site of the NetBeans Platform being used as the basis of the application. It makes sense in a way; when you talk about your car, do you mention the supplier of its tyres?


Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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