Dynamic Athletics Research Institute launched two years ago and is led by President, Patrick Moodie. The last gen of motion capture technology was tedious work in that sensors are used to record movement and it took too much time to place up to 30 or 40 on key body points and upwards of an entire month to process. Patrick graciously spoke to the Sports Techie community blog from their new facility in Kansas City about his company’s revolutionary system that has been a decade in the making and how they solved the markers problem via technology that collects precise human movement data and offers functional screening.
Dynamic Athletics Research Institute – DARI
Patrick used kinesiology and biomechanics to create the first of its kind process that removes the need for force plate technology in collecting kinetic data. Dynamic Athletics is the only company in the world capable of measuring human kinetics without the use of force plates, shoe inserts or any contact-based equipment. Traditionally, markers on skin were used for motion capture to understand where the body is in space. Machine can see person and calibrate itself without the need for markers or reflective placements. Third party researchers and scientists have validated the science and are published in Industry journals.
Problems his team focused on
- Easier capture session
- Quick and focused information
- Data management service
Other concerns they uncovered included too much data, data that was too hard to process; data that was too hard to interpret, not being able to screen enough individuals in a day, reporting software, and collecting data files.
“Dynamic Athletics combined state of the art biomechanical analysis technology with scientifically based strength training, and a proven soft tissue modality (Active Release Technique™) to increase performance,” according to Patrick.
Their patented data can be used to identify areas of deficiency in movement, which might lead to injury. Whether that athlete is your child, a top employee or a high draft pick, having this kind of information makes this is a must have sports tech for 2013.
Dynamic Athletics Service Overview
The system uses 14 cameras to record a full body scan of any performance at 59 frames per second. Data from those 14 cameras is collected by a vision processor computer which then creates a digital anatomical skeleton or computer- image of the person moving inside the lab. The way the figure connects allows for a functioning MRI to take place using zero sensors, source plates in addition to no set up time. Patrick labeled his tech as, “disruptive technology,” or in other words it’s the kind of Solution that changing the status quo.
The Cloud produces a 3-D red skeleton inside of a clothed body that is clearly visible to the naked eye. The vision processor cloud is consistent within a 1% variance in movement change, from test-to-test. Voxel View can even produce the beard stubble on a user’s chin. The processed results indicate that motion changes are not the result of markers that are not placed in the same spot every time a test is run by a person, rather, this remarkable motion capture system assists coaches and trainers with analyzing precise measurements that do not have human errors.
Data from recorded movements can be analyzed and broken down into joint angles, joint forces and movement patterns, uncovering deficiencies in technique, and any subtle changes that could lead to preventable injury. A Red Flag is an indication of a deduction in performance. Base reports can be used and customized.
So your fantasy team has RB Adrian Peterson and you want to know if his injured knee is sending out indicators that his strength and conditioning motions are improving week-by-week or whether any of these physical movements might lead your superstar to a non-contact hamstring pull or even a reinjured ACL and MCL. The Vikings could monitor his running biomechanics and monitor his return of strength and power with DARI. The tailored info also allows users to intervene before a player’s training session catastrophe occurs.
Your wish to know his health status is in many ways similar to what the owners, front office and coaches, along with his trainers, Mother, and even the IT department, all want to know as well whether there is any concrete data about if his knee and the rest of his leg muscles are operating at 100% efficiency, every day of the week, at every practice and all games. In comes DARI.
Users and Costs
The Carlton Football Club in the AFL is one of their four happy first customers. The NFL, NBA and MLB are investigating the technology for injury prevention and skill analysis as are countless other sport franchises. Free plate and force sensor technology costs thousands of dollars while an entire capture can cost in the million dollar range. There are traditional costs associated with syncing the data. DARI uses only one data source as the interface which is a serious cost saver and competitive edge.
What’s holding this terrific sports tech from going viral is most likely the steep price tag. The cost is $300,000 over two years. There is $100,000 in hardware costs that the 3D motion capture system requires to operate. Patrick ensured me that insurance companies and pro sports teams make money purchasing their wares.
Taking care of their athletes for a long-term career is a trend in which the European and Australian sports leagues are leading the way. Optimizing your athletes training and recovery for the long haul is considered protection an asset or investment which in this case might be a MVP player. A pro-active screening philosophy is in place overseas that American sport leagues need to look at. An entire 40-man or woman roster can be screened on a weekly basis in order to fine tune and optimize the entire squad’s practice and gameday performances.
The BioMotion Centre at Visy is a facility that is the largest of its kind by volume in the world, and the only one being used for this purpose in Australia. The Bio Motion Centre has 14 cameras that track the motion of a player within the 68-cubic-metre capture zone. In the motion capture lab, athletes run on a treadmill and perform evasive maneuvers on the specialized surface. Their motion through jumping, landing, and kicking can be carefully examined for technique and biomechanics.
This install in Melbourne, Australia involved 4-8 hours of setup to place the cameras, make the necessary adjustments and tweak the lighting. The training and data processing took about a week to finish.
The Vault hosts data in the clouds and moves it quickly. The data is uploaded to their KC server racks where it is received, processed and then stored on the Vault computers. All data processing goes on inside the web based Vault, same as the creation of reports. The processors overall speed is a major component because all this rendering takes but 5 minutes to finish.
This web based platform removes the technological barriers to the data that end users want to have. More time can be spent practicing instead of producing data sets and documents, no more organizing and spreadsheets.
- Data Processing
- Data Management
Sign in with a unique log in, upload individual capture sample files into capture session files, enter file processing cue.
- Person (Name)
- Session (Date/Time)
- Sample (Movement)
Create reports with existing data. Predefined reports are available or you can customize a report with the data and format you want. Vault processes the data quickly, exponentially then; users can test more people in five minute windows.
Services include building and customizing reports which become the intellectual property of the organization requesting specific movements, graphs and looks. Two experts are needed to run DARI.
- Collection Expert – DVR type tech requirements
- Interpretation Experts – Health care, Training, P.T. and Surgery
“The Vault is our best employee,” said Patrick with a comical but serious tone because he meant it. It is complete autonomous and ready to serve.
The Impulse unity records an athlete’s movements using a Tri Axial Signal and 3D G Force Data at 100 frames per second. It tracks an athlete on the field, similar to the NIKE Fuel Band and Under Armour U-39. It offers microscopic performance evaluations.
The Impulse will be available end of September. This is considered an add-on product to the DARI System with a total cost including software fees of $250. They plan to offer team unit pricing The Impulse was successfully tested with ESPN at combine events.
It takes anywhere from 0-15 minutes per athlete to capture 14 movements. An athlete’s percentage change per session, and what and how they changed, can be extrapolated from test data. Team sessions and team reports are also available. The vertical jump measurement is an example of an in-season baseline test they use.
If you run a two hour testing block of 6-8 movements in the AM, by lunch time you have processed and flagged five athletes who require a course correction before the afternoon practice begins.
The player’s test movement could be analyzed and fed back to the strength and conditioning team, to ensure the players aren’t loaded too early, before they have satisfied certain lifting criteria. The technology is also being used to assess when players are ready to return from injury, and when their training load can be safely increased.
College basketball teams and the OKC Thunder and the Indianapolis Pacers have received demos and testing.
The technology has applications in preventing injuries in talented young athletes in a variety of other sports, assisting patients undergoing surgical rehabilitation, assessing gait disorders in children, helping prevent falls in the elderly, preventing lifting injuries in a work environment, and general running assessments in recreational athletes.
- Sports Teams and Student Athletes
- Health Care – Corporate Wellness Model – EMed records, Turner
- Military – Poly Trauma Center at the V.A. and also Fort Hood demo’s
DARI Team Sportsbiz
This motion base system is years in the making. Sports Techie Patrick coded new algorithms that process and present human movement data, full body kinematics, using a proprietary process to calculate full body kinetics without a force plate. “The disruptive technology calls for them to find partnership with the right people,” says Patrick. Alliances and partnerships with the likes of ESPN are company goals.
The main three employees are Patrick, his brother Ryan, who is a co-founder and manages the data, and a business development expert in CEO, Ryan Comeau. Moodie feels they can scale the business and ramp up their staff as needed. The company is privately funded and, “Yes, they are always interested in funding.” said Moodie.
Patrick feels they have a stronghold on the market, their marker less system and patented data are truly a difference maker. When they close more customers it will be easy to buy new VM Ware servers once traffic gets to be too much for their existing server configuration.
Sports Techie, The DARI motto is to rehab smarter, get back quicker… I like how this technology indicates whether recovery progression is working or degradation in performance is occurring. This novel system allows you to tweak training loads or modify specific training over time. Perhaps it is time to back off or maybe it’s the right moment to do more strengthening. DARI is your friend when it comes to injury prevention and athlete movement analysis.
Motion capture has historically been used as special effects in movies created with computer generated animation. The days of eyeballing functionality and writing down data are now in the past thanks to Dynamic Athletics revolutionary system that uses a 14 camera gait lab. It assists coaches in decisions regarding a return to training and games. All data together helps to produce a diagnosis that gets to the root of the problem in order to correct it. Chase symptoms, root cause, and fix the problem for good.
Dynamic Athletics can measure all of the physics your body produces as it moves. They build a performance profile about your movements and track your progress as you train and improve helping you perform better and reach your goals.
Whether a trained eye is evaluating the 3D model or the proprietary software algorithms, the physics, range of motion, and speed, plus reaction time, joint torque and force while on field testing, in any environment, to complete a diagnosis, is what sets DARI apart for their competitors.
Test on the field with the Impulse and then compare that data to the laboratory testing information hosted at the Vault so you can look at how you are moving and increase injury prevention. DARI can help prevent knee injuries in young females. It will identify if a players shoulder rotation moves in a certain way in order to uncover compensations and limitations.
I asked Patrick about animals and if they could be measure with his system. He said that his cloud based algorithms are tailored for human beings right now and cannot track any other life form at the present moment. There has been some Missouri dog testing and research as it relates to human therapy.
Team collaboration is they key when discussing professional sports teams. I have been down this road introducing new sports tech to teams and can relate to Patrick’s patience and long term focus. Getting an entire team to sign up is a challenge in that for them to finally purchase, you will need internal champions and the opportunity to demo during the off-season.
Earning a collaborative ok from the President, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, IT, Finance Executives, Scouting, and on and on, is as hard as it gets in technology sales. The day when one person made all the decisions for a franchise is mostly gone and what’s now in place are organizations that have Sports Techie data mining personnel, sports technology operators and injury assessment teams in place at large operating costs when compared to the cost of DARI.
Patrick was discussing the notion of an injury prevention plan and said the New York Yankees could use one for, “Keeping ARod on the field.”
We do more with less… Dynamic Athletics.
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