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July 9, 1990

SALFORD SETS ARCHIMEDES TO WORK ANALYSING ATHLETES’ BODY LANGUAGE

By CBR Staff Writer

Salford College of Technology, in Salford, near Manchester, has developed software based on the principles of Biomechanics to run on Acorn Computers Plc’s Archemedes workstation, under Acorn’s proprietary operating system, RISC/OS. Biomechanics is a way of working out how to improve the body’s physical performance using mathematical calculations. After a video of the subject has been incorporated into the software the figures are converted into computer generated graphical figures which re-enact the movement and break it down mathematically, into data and graphs, enabling the user to analyse it and compare it with former movement, or the movement of another subject. Minute changes in movement can be monitored. The system is aimed at anyone involved in improving physical performance, from physiotherapists to sports coaches, although the latter would definitely need help in interpreting many of the graphs and figures that the system can churn out and maybe even in setting up the video cameras. Salford also provides consultancy services for those who need help with interpretation, although the developers claim that students of biomechanics or related subjects can get to grips with the system in less that two hours. The system costs UKP10,000 in full turnkey configuration, and UKP1,750 for the software alone.

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