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Why should you select the Ariel Performance Analysis System?

All Motion Analysis Systems were developed for the purpose of analyzing movement

The basic framework for all modern systems consists of hardware and software. All companies provide hardware consisting of either off-the-shelf products OR their own proprietary items which they manufacture. Every company includes software to operate the computer as well as follow the programmed biomechanical instructions to analyze the data and present the results in useful, acceptable formats.

How can a Consumer evaluate the choices presented?

bulletWhat item(s) should the Buyer consider?
bulletHow do the various systems differ?
bulletCan the meat of the system be separated from the fat of marketing?
bulletWhich product offers the most advance and efficient motion analysis system for my needs?
bulletRefer to the Manual for complete detail of the APAS functions.

Since all companies engage in marketing efforts to sell their products, consumers must evaluate the efficacy of the product claims against reality NOT because a well-known individual or a sales person makes the claim. Everyone has heard the joke about knowing the sales person is lying if the lips are moving. The Buyer must acquire accurate information in order to differentiate between sales hyperbole and truth. "Caveat emptor" -- "let the Buyer beware" extends beyond the pig in the poke.

Get the BEST for LESS

Your biomechanical system must be ACCURATE, VERSATILE, and FUNCTIONAL. You should demand the best, get the best, and for the best price!! Usually getting the BIGGEST BANG for the BUCK is the consumer's first thought regardless of the product. You want to buy the BEST biomechanical system AND at the BEST price. This document should help to focus on some of the realistic considerations associated with biomechanical systems currently offered.

Remember the old adage that "a fool and his money are soon parted!" Just because a three-piece suit or a "big name" consultant tell you that their product is good does NOT make it true. Conduct an open-minded, point-by-point comparison with the Ariel system. Test their claims against those make by Ariel.
bulletCheck each function they claim to have.
bulletCompare their prices.
bulletVerify their credibility.

Correct, honest, and accurate information will lead you to only one conclusion:

The Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) is the Best !!!


Ariel was the first .......

bulletAriel was the first company to create a biomechanical system for scientific, educational, and commercial applications.
bulletAriel introduced the first electronic digitizer (sonic) for use with 16mm film tracings.
bulletAriel was the first to connect a force platform to a computer AND to write the software to control it.
bulletAriel provided the first hardware-software controlled interface for other input signals such as EMG integrated with the movement analysis system.
bulletAriel was the first to grab video images and store them on the hard disk for subsequent processing.
bulletAriel provided the first computerized video digitizing using the computer's display monitor as the tracing medium.
bulletAriel was the first to invent the Variable Resistance exercise equipment.
bulletAriel was the first to invent the Computerized Exercise Machines.
bulletAriel was the first to connect the motion analysis system with the Ariel Computerized Exercise System (CES).
bulletAriel was the first Biomechanical company to have a Web Site available on the Internet.
bulletAriel introduced the first "On-line" digitizing system on the Internet. (NetDigi)

You can find more of our "firsts" described elsewhere and we are very proud of all of them. Our greatest joy is that

The Ariel Performance Analysis is the Best!

and not just because we say so! Check the details for yourself. Examine all of the options for digitizing, smoothing and transformation, graphing, stick figure presentations, interfacing with other devices, and MORE. Remember:


When you carefully check details about the Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS), you will discover that this system is far better than any other and, in fact, is the most advanced system in the world. Don't hesitate to read through our system Help and  Manual to fortify yourself with more extensive details.

You will be the ultimate decision-maker. We can tell you about the power potential and the price. We can urge you to consider the strengths and merits with each system and balance them against the cost. The seductiveness of glitz and glitter sales techniques should not cloud the real issue --- the reality of what the product IS and what it COSTS to have it. Don't let some stuffed shirt or academic blowhard convince you to buy an inferior product merely because they disapprove of our marketing skills.

Biomechanical procedures are performed with good tools NOT with marketing skills.

Comparison of Products and Costs

The following table presents the basic items and their related costs for a typical motion analysis system. The price range is essentially the same for all companies although those with specialized, proprietary items may be more expensive. The range will be approximately $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the kind and the components purchased. Every company will have similar hardware expenses.

Hardware Costs


Check here if you are looking for more APAS information.

Product Price (US$) Buy Now
APAS-Wizard- Basic - Software Only [ download ]

Software Modules Included:
TRIMMER Module to simultaneously synchronize and trim multiple video files
DIGITIZE Module Simultaneous Digitizing of Multiple Screens, 2D & 3D included
TRANSFORM Module Transforms digitized coordinates utilizing DLT or PPT algorithms
FILTER Module removes random digitizing errors with user-selected algorithms
DISPLAY Module Synchronizes Video, Analog, Stick Figure, Graphs, For Display and Printing
PANORAMA - Panning Camera Option Software support for Panning Cameras
DELTA Software Module Kinetic Lift Analysis
Kinetics Kinetic module for lower body joints forces and moments
(All software is NTSC/PAL, Windows-98/2000/XP compatible)

The APAS Basic supports both 2D and 3D analysis and includes software support for automatic digitizing.  This is a tape-based system where video is captured to the hard disk in Microsoft AVI format using any 3rd party capture software (not included).  Any number of video cameras can be utilized in the analysis.  A single camera is required for 2D analysis while 2 or more cameras are required for 3D analysis.  

APAS-Wizard- Software Only [ download ]

Software Modules Included:
All APAS Basic 2005 Software (Listed In APAS Basic Above)
CAPDV Module - Simultaneously Captures Digital Video in AVI format direct to hard disk, Up to 9 cameras can be used simultaneously on one or multiple computers. This allow the flexibility to be in any distances from the subject to be analyzed.
RENDERER Module - Superimposes cylinders and/or human skeleton on APAS stick figure
GAIT Module Lower body human gait analysis supports industry standard marker sets
3DAUTOTRAK Module - Enhanced automatic digitizing capabilities for multiple cameras
APAS2EXCEL Module supports export of kinematics data to Microsoft Excel worksheet format
(All software is NTSC/PAL, Windows-98/2000/XP compatible)

APAS-Wizard - Software Only [ download ]

Software Modules Included:
All APAS-XP 2005 Software (Listed In APAS-XP Above)
APAS-Strobe Supports capture and display of multiple video frames on a single screen. Additionally, the APAS-XP-Wizard also includes the synchronized 3D kinematic data. 
APAS-Wizard Includes pre-defined and user adjustable templates for various activities in Sports and Rehabilitation to guide the user through analysis and data display for more efficient and faster analysis.
(All software is NTSC/PAL, Windows-98/2000/XP compatible)

APAS Wizard Computer - Computer and Software

Standard with every APAS-2004 Configuration:
All APAS Basic Software (Listed In APAS Basic Above)
Pentium Computer (Minimum 2 Ghz)
80 GB Hard Disk ((larger capacity available as an option)
256 Meg. RAM Memory (Up to 512 MB available - optional)
One IEEE 1394 DV Capture Card and software
CD-RW Drive
Keyboard & Mouse
(Note: Computer Monitor Is Not Included)

APAS-Wizard Basic Computer - Computer and Software

Standard with every APAS-XP 2004 Configuration:
All APAS-XP Software (Listed In APAS-XP Above)
Pentium Computer (Minimum 2 Ghz)
80 GB Hard Disk ((larger capacity available as an option)
256 Meg. RAM Memory (Up to 512 MB available - optional)
Two IEEE 1394 DV Capture Cards and software
CD-RW Drive
Keyboard & Mouse
(Note: Computer Monitor Is Not Included)

APAS-Wizard COMPLETE- Complete 2 Camera System

All APAS XP2004 Software and Hardware (Listed In Item APAS Basic Computer 2004 Above)
Two Digital Camcorders (60 Hz, NTSC) with 10-meter DV cables
Ariel Software Drivers For Digital Camcorders
High Resolution Color Monitor, 17-inch
Two Tripods
Two Photographic Lights
Calibration Cube
One set of Markers & Adhesive Stickers
(High Speed Cameras Also Available for additional costs)
(Additional camera, capture card, DV cable, tripod, & light available for $1,850.00 per camera)



Check here if you are looking for more ACES information.

Product Price (US$) Buy Now
ACES - Multi-function Machine (with APAS interface) $25,000.00
ACES - Arm/Leg Machine (with APAS interface) $25,000.00
ACES - Back/Abdominal Machine (with APAS interface) $25,000.00


Product Price (US$) Buy Now
Software Options    
APAS/Renderer $1,500.00
APAS/Gait (Kinematics Only) $5,000.00
APAS/Gait + APAS/Renderer $6,000.00
CAPDV (Simultaneous Video Capture To Hard Disk)

Requires Capture Card For Every Camera (Listed Below)

APAS2EXCEL Export of APAS data to Microsoft Excel format

Requires Microsoft Excel to be installed on computer
Microsoft Excel not included and must be purchased separately

APAS Workstation (Price per each additional computer) $1,500.00
Hardware Options  
High Resolution 17-inch LCD Monitor $450.00
High Resolution 19-inch LCD Monitor $650.00
DVD-RW $350.00
Zip Drive w/ APAS Backup Software $375.00
Tripod $275.00
Industrial Camera Light (120 Volt, 250 Watts) $350.00
Reflective Ball Markers, Passive (30 Markers) $300.00

Reflective Ball Markers, Active (30 Markers) $600.00
1000 Double-Sided Stickers for Markers $150.00
IEEE FireWire Compliant Camcorder (60 Hz, NTSC) $750.00
Digital Video Capture Card $150.00
Digital Video Cable, 10 meter length $125.00
Digital Video Cable, 20 meter length $250.00
Large Calibration Cube $1,500.00
Analog Options    
ARIEL Analog - 16 A/D Channels (Hardware & Software)

Required for EMG and Force Plate data collection

AMTI Force Plate With Ariel Software Drivers and Interface

Includes Vectors module, plate vectors superimposed on AVI video file

Kistler Force Plate With Ariel Software Drivers and Interface $19,950.00
EMG Pre-Amplified Electrode w/ APAS Interface $750.00
Notebook Options    
Notebook APAS Basic Workstation (Software and Hardware) $12,500.00
Notebook APAS-XP w/ DV Frame Grabbers & 2 Cameras $19.950.00
Analog Interface to Notebook (16 Channels A/D) $10,500.00


If you desire to use the optional CAPDV software module for real-time video data collection, and the Ariel Analog Module to collect Analog data (EMG and/or force plate) simultaneously, this will require two separate computers. One computer would be used for real-time collection of video data while the second computer would be used for real-time collection of Analog data. Once the data is collected, either data set (video and analog) can be transferred, processed and analyzed on either computer. A single computer is currently not capable of supporting the high demand of collecting video and analog data simultaneously.

There are two general formats for video; PAL (European standard) and NTSC (United States standard). All APAS software supports both PAL and NTSC video. Whether the APAS is PAL or NTSC compatible depends upon the video hardware. All APAS hardware systems sold in the US are provided with NTSC capture cards and cameras. If you require a PAL video format system, Ariel Dynamics can supply PAL compatible capture cards pre-installed in the computer, however, it is very difficult to obtain PAL format video cameras in the United States. Therefore, in this instance, we recommend that the customer purchase the PAL cameras locally.

Prices effective as of June 1, 2005

Listed prices are for USA domestic sales only. International prices vary by location. Shipping Charges Are Not Included In Prices. Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.

For custom quotes please contact us directly.

(The balance of the retail price will be for software, R&D, marketing, and other overhead costs.)

The retail price includes these basic hardware details with the remainder attributed to "everything else". You will have to decide whether the retail price, which is what YOU will have to pay, is purchasing a better product or better marketing .. Does the price reflect appropriate company costs or marketing and excessive overhead?

In order to provide an actual, detailed comparison, we will demonstrates facts only. Although each customer has various reasons for the final choice, one of the main considerations is:


We at Ariel Dynamics Inc. hope that you have had an opportunity to examine various motion analysis systems. If you did, you will find that the motion analysis system developed by Ariel Dynamics have demonstrated the latest technological advancement. This system was developed originally by one of the pioneer in the fields of motion analysis and modern exercise equipment, Dr. Gideon Ariel. As founder and president of the company, Dr. Gideon Ariel has set standards for the biomechanical industry which has developed since his efforts in the 1960's.

The Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) is the most advanced computer-based system for the measurement, analysis, and presentation of movement performance. The study of the motion of living things is known as "Biomechanics" and it has evolved from a fusion of the classic disciplines of anatomy, physiology, physics, and engineering. Biomechanical quantification are based on Newtonian equations and the APAS analytic technique treats the human body as a mechanical system of moving segments upon which muscular, gravitational, inertial, and reaction forces are applied. Although the system has been used primarily for quantification of human activities, it has had some industrial, non-human applications.

Input Options

The computerized hardware/software technique provides a means to objectively quantify the dynamic components of movement and replaces mere observation and supposition. Except for specific applications requiring EMG or kinetic (force platform) data, it is non-invasive. No wires, sensors, or markers need be attached to the subject.
bulletIt is portable and rarely requires any modification of the performing environment. Cameras can be transported to the site and positioned so as not to interfere with the subject. Video equipment technology currently available is sufficiently adequate for most applications requiring accurate motion analysis and is normally the least expensive particularly when two or more cameras are needed.
bulletThe scale and accuracy of measurement can be set to the levels required for the activity being performed.

Video Superiority

The ability to record and store the activity as a picture has a number of advantages:
bulletThe SCIENTIST can make intellectual decisions regarding the joint centers in each frame rather than using markers attached at the skin's surface.
bulletSUBSEQUENT QUANTIFICATIONS are possible since the video can be reexamined at any time.
bulletSTICK FIGURE RESULTS can be overlapped with the video pictures for effective result presentations.


The APAS has been utilized in many areas of interest, study, or work. Applications have included, but are not limited to the following:
bulletSport or athletic applications have included volleyball, soccer, American football, tennis, track and field events, horse racing and jumping, and golf.
bulletRehabilitative usage includes pre- and post-hip replacement functioning, gait analysis, and comparisons of bilateral functions.
bulletMedical research is using the APAS to quantify movement in Parkinson patients with and without drugs or before and after surgical procedures.
bulletJob quantification
bulletTask improvement
bulletPost-injury assessment
bulletErgonomic evaluations of job tasks
bulletEmployment evaluations
bulletRisk assessment
bulletWorker's compensation
bulletDisability evaluations
bulletJob standardization in the workplace
bulletIndustrial applications include product design, analysis, and improvement as well as evaluating hardware performance such as piston movement accuracy.
bulletArtistic applications such as playing the violin, the harp, or the piano.
bulletMammalian research such as thoroughbred race horse performance, feline locomotion, or monkey leaping.
bulletForensic analysis such as injuries involving football, gymnastics, horse racing, or running shoes.
bulletSpace Research such as of research on astronaut performances in zero- and one-g environments.

More details are available on the Ariel Home Page

The APAS is one of the products designed, manufactured, marketed, and serviced by Ariel Dynamics. Technological excellence and innovation are the goals of the staff and owner of the company. Corporate facilities are located in Trabuco Canyon, California and the sales/service offices are in San Diego, California. Additional information about the company, founder, products, research applications, and other pertinent details can be found on our Internet Home Page at


* * * * * * * * *

Advantages of Computers and Biomechanics

The advent of computers and the continuous evolution of faster machines allowed the sophisticated, proprietary software of the APAS to quickly and accurately calculate the movement parameters. The long and tedious hours of hand calculations associated with biomechanical analysis were replaced with rapid, error-free results.

A typical kinematic analysis using the Ariel Performance Analysis System consists of four distinct phases:
bulletData collection (filming)
bulletPresentation of the results

Points to Consider

In order to make the BEST decision about the Movement Analysis system most suitable for YOUR USE, the following points should be considered:

Accuracy of the system
Easy and simple procedures
User friendly software
Cutting edge technology
Internet compatibility
Software Technology Upgrade Policy
Service and Repair response
Population of users
Comparison Chart


The Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) is considered to be one of the most accurate system available today. Independent studies, by various organizations and institutions, have shown the APAS to be accurate, valid, and reliable at high levels.

For example, a study by MOCO, Inc. performed for NASA, demonstrated that the APAS was as accurate as the Ascension Flock Of Birds. The Flock of Birds system is a very accurate direct measurement position device utilizing wires and transmit-receive electronics.

Additional studies by NASA determined that the Ariel System's accuracy was superior even under constrained conditions such as with data collection under water and wide angle lenses. Another study, published in the Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil, demonstrated the accuracy of the APAS. Additional studies are available.

Responses from our customers to question by the Biomch-L list on the accuracy of the APAS system, illustrates our customers satisfaction.

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Easy and simple procedures

The APAS is easy to operate with logical, step-by-step procedures accompanied by an on-line help screen. However, one of the best ways to evaluate the ease and simplicity of operating the APAS is to read the manual. The APAS manual describes all the available functions and how they are performed. Not only will you be convinced that there is no system as extensive nor as sophisticated but, at the same time, you will discover the ease with which you can use the APAS.

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The APAS is integrated in an off-the-shelf Pentium/586/686 based computer. No unique, specially-designed hardware is required. The APAS can be extended to an additional IBM compatible computer for use as a Workstation. In addition, the Ariel system runs on any notebook computer making it easily portable. A notebook computer allows data to be acquired anywhere. Regardless of which computer is selected, the acquired data can be transferred among geographically distant sites via the Internet or within the Laboratory on any LAN system.

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User-friendly software

The menu-driven system allows the user to follow on-screen directions. In case a question arises, pressing the ? key immediately produces a help screen. In addition, an on-line manual is available. The Internet interface allows users to communicate through Forums or user groups.

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The APAS is a modular system using off-the-shelf computers, A/D boards, VCR, any additional computer peripherals, as well as cameras with speeds of 60 Hz to 10,000 Hz. In other words, there are no specialized, proprietary hardware requirements. If your printer breaks or you want a larger color monitor, you can purchase the new component at any computer or video store. If you damage or break some part, we can ship a replacement within 24 hours and you will need merely to insert it. No other company in the world in this business can perform for you like this.

Also, you may purchase additional modules at different times. All you will have to do is plug it into the system and you ready to resume work.

When upgrading hardware, you will not have to change the entire system, but only the specific part. The other parts are still good which makes this is a very flexible and economical system.

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The Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) was designed to be portable. The desk top computer, monitors, VCR, and other peripherals can be arranged on a cart for easy mobility. The notebook computer option affords even greater versatility. Because the notebook and the cameras are light-weight and readily transportable they can be taken virtually any place for data collection and analysis. For example, EMG data can be collected at any site with the notebook and, subsequently, the data can be transferred to the desktop system. Communication between the main desktop computer and the notebook or another computer located elsewhere in the world can be accomplished in seconds via the Windows-95 interface, Internet linkage, and/or through Local Area Network (LAN). The APAS was designed from its conception for on-line communication and the Internet provides a natural "central nervous system" as the interface between local and global integration.

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The staff at Ariel Dynamics, Inc. is continuously developing new options and programs for the APAS. These upgrades frequently involve newly available electronic technology, new mathematical algorithms, or user requested software. Customers anywhere in the world can download the new software at no additional cost directly from our Internet server site. Downloading is a simple process and the upgrading procedure requires no specialized software or hardware expertise.

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Company personnel

Most of our personnel are trained in various fields such as Exercise Sciences, Biomechanics, Nuclear Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Sciences, and Neurological Sciences. In fact, there's a joke among some people that "in the Ariel company, even the truck driver has a Ph.D." Please feel welcome talking with us directly, through E-Mail, or via the Internet. Frequently, you will have the opportunity to meet us in the booth at conferences. We will be the most recognizable because our booth is usually the only one without three-pieced suits! Don't expect to see us wearing suits and ties but be prepared to find us friendly and the most knowledgeable. The strength of our company is knowledge and the superior product. Fancy clothes or expensive brochures are available elsewhere. Please stop by, meet us, and check the product -- you won't be disappointed.

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Cutting edge technology

The Ariel company has always blazed the trail in the area of Biomechanics. The Ariel company was the pioneer in providing the first computerized electronic QUANTIFICATION of human and biological motion, the first biomechanical SERVICE commercially available to industry, and, most recently, the first computerized biomechanical PRODUCT in the world. INNOVATION, CREATIVITY, KNOWLEDGE, and effective UTILIZATION of the NEWEST TECHNOLOGY available have maintained the Ariel company and its products on the leading edge. Other companies merely copy or struggle to keep the pace. Time after time, however, Ariel technology wins by wide margin.

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The APAS is an "Open" system. Any data collected with the APAS, whether video, kinematic, kinetic, or analog data, such as EMG, force plate, etc.) can be downloaded to virtually any program. Most formats are supported, including ASCII, Spreadsheet, DIF, as well as many graphic formats, such as PCX, Bitmap etc. It is the only system in the world that can interface with other popular programs as Excel, Lotus-123, Access, Word for Windows, Microsoft Office, Coral, and many more.

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Internet compatibility

The APAS was Internet compatible before the Internet! As early as 1976, data was transmitted through a modem from the Montreal Olympic Game site to our office in Amherst, Massachusetts. The data was analyzed and electronically transmitted to the Olympic Site and the Olympic Committee center. Images were transmitted in ASCII codes and reconstructed at the receiving site. Not only was this a laborious effort and time consuming task but extremely expensive in telephone toll costs! However, Ariel Dynamics will always be able to proudly declare: "We were ahead of our time". Today, of course, the Internet has became the core of our communication system. We are connected with hundreds of customers and produce multi-site research from the US to Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, and other locations. You can link to Dr. Ariel's presentation at the International Society of Biomechanics meeting in Finland to see how Ariel pioneered this field.

Video data can be collected in one country and transmitted through the Internet to another site for quantification. The resulting analytic results can be transferred to another country or any site on the Internet for presentation or data-base compilation. Final results and documentation can be transferred from the various processing sites via the Internet to headquarters. All interaction via the Internet can be performed over local telephone, LAN lines, or network service providers for minimal costs. The APAS is the only system in the world that can accomplished this level of Internet integration.

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Software Technology Upgrade Policy

The software upgrade, as mentioned previously, is provided to customers without charge. The hardware challenge is slightly more difficult. As everyone knows, electronic developments are advancing at lightning speed. In most cases, hardware advances primarily affect the computer's processor and memories. The customer can purchase virtually any compatible computer, transfer the video boards, frame grabber, cameras, VCR, etc. from the older system and Ariel Dynamics will make every possible effort to ensure that the Ariel software and the new hardware components will be compatible. In those unusual situations, some off-the-shelf computers may not work correctly at the beginning. In those situations, Ariel Dynamics and its staff will assist the customer to facilitate the upgrade for little or no additional cost.

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As noted previously, hardware improvements and new products are continuously being introduced to the market. If a customer wants to replace his/ her equipment, Ariel Dynamics will assist in these efforts and charge only for the hardware equipment costs. In many cases, a customer can frequently sell his/her equipment to another organization and replace them with newer models from Ariel Dynamics.

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Ariel Dynamics provides an amazing, unique opportunity for their customers. When you purchase an APAS, Ariel Dynamics will install any number of Workstations in your lab or institution. This means that you get more systems for the price of just one APAS. The advantage of this offer is that you could have a master system in your office and provide students or technicians with additional units as workstations. The only different between the main system and the workstations is that analog and video data cannot be collected with the workstations although all other analytic processes can be performed.

In other words, you can purchase just one APAS yet extend the capabilities to multiple computers. With one APAS purchased for the basic price of approximately $20,000.00 (US), extending to 5 additional Workstations reduces the cost per station to approximately $3500.00. No other company can match this offer.

The motivation for Ariel Dynamics to provide this opportunity is straightforward. Budgetary considerations often prohibit purchasing more then one system. By providing the ability to increase productivity, more research can be pursued. When you present your research, perhaps we will benefit from any credit described in your experiment. In addition, this provides contact with the scientific environment which is both a corporate and personal interest.

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Service and Repair Response

Initially, every effort will be made to repair your system via modem. The majority of problems are resolved in this manner. However, occasionally the customer will need to return his/her equipment.

When a customer has such a repair need, Ariel Dynamics can send equipment replacements immediately by Federal Express. You will then need to send your equipment for repair. Service normally requires one day to determine the location of the damage and replace it. Then your equipment will be returned. This means you will rarely be down more then 24 hours.

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Selected Population of Users

By purchasing the Ariel Dynamics APAS, you join the leaders in your field as well as organizations such as NASA, Olympic Committees, Research Laboratories, and leading Universities around the world. For selected users, see the World Wide Users section on our Web Site. In December 1995, the following International customers purchased the APAS:
bulletDr. Robert Wainwright, Kinematic Consultants Inc. Compuserve 73541,1577
bulletDr. Erik B. Simonsen, Panum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark Internet: E.Simonsen@mai.ku.dk
bulletDr. Doris Miller, Univ. Of Western Ontario, London Ontario
bulletDr. Jozsef Tihanyi, Hungarian University of Physical Education,
INTERNET: VACZI@mte.hupe.hu
bulletDr. Lars Oddsson, Boston University, Internet: loddsson@bu.edu Research Assistant Professor, NeuroMuscular Research Center, homepage: http://nmrc.bu.edu Boston University, 44 Cummington Street, Boston MA 02215, (617) 353-9633 or 353-9757, FAX 353-5737.
bulletDr. Itzak Mizrahi, Technion Research and Development, Haifa, Israel. Fax: 972-4-221680.
bulletHelmholtz-Institut fur Biomedizinische Technik. Germany.
bulletUniversity of Salford, England.
bulletErgo Inc. Herzelia, Israel.
bulletIntel Inc. Jerusalem, Israel.
bulletWingate College, Israel.

. . . and other institutions.

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Check the comment from the ISBS President: 8-8-2000

Dear Claire,

Before you buy either the MA or Vicon systems make sure you have a look at
the APAS system.

It is much less expensive, user friendly, and better in my opinion.  I am
not up to date with the latest systems of Motion Analysis and Vicon but I
find that the APAS system is very versatile in offering high speed data
capture (240 HZ) at low prices, error free digitising with the capability
of mixing automatic and manual digitising and with digitising black not
just bright spots.  This saves an enormous amount of time with trying to
get exactly the right lighting enviroment for automatic digitising and
having the endless frustrations of trying to get 'clean' 3D data of
numerous markers.  We have just used the APAS system to collect data on
golf puts using specatators at the British Open.  We were outside in
bright sunshine and collected data at 240 Hz from 2000 subjects.  We are
now happily digisiting that data automatically on the APAS system.  For
this project I needed to export the data to run my own Fortran programs on
it.  This was easy to do on the APAS system.

I am normally a believer in 'you get what you pay for'.  This is an
exception.  You get better for much less with the APAS system for several
reasons.  1.  Gideon Ariel has the ability and drive to develop everything
himself and uses only a small support staff.  2.  He does this part of his
business because he loves biomechanics - he is extremely wealthy from
other business ventures  and does not rely on this side of his business to
make vast sums of money.

I have not seen the lastest versions of Vicon and MA.  However, I have had
experiences with MA and did not stop throwing money at expensive upgrades
etc.  In the three years I was at Perth we didn't have one study published
from the Motion Analysis system  and despite the time and money that was
thrown at it, the system didn't ever work in a friendly way. It kept
seizing up, was unfriendly for downloading data for other programs, had to
be used indoors in highly controlled lighting environements and, even
then, there was so much time spent in trying to get clean continuous paths
and interpolating excessively that we would have been better off
digitising manually (if it had given us that option). Their newer system,
which I think is Window's based, may be much better (it would certainly
need to be). What you should be aware of though, is that the service was
extremely slow, they passed the buck from one staff member to another, and
their solution to any problem was generally an expensive upgrade rather
than providing technical assistance.  In contrast,  whenever I need
clarification of anything on the APAS system I e-mail Gideon directly. The
reply is always within one day and often within the first hour of sending
the message. 

Claire, I have no vested insterest in the APAS system and have taken the
time to write to you for two reasons:

1.  I am grateful to Gideon for his concern for individuals and the growth
of biomechancis rather than simply making large amounts of money.

2.  As the current President of the ISBS I am eager to see an increase in
the volume of biomechanics research.  Progress is currently thwarted by
uneccessarily expensive systems that prevent many people from contributing
to the science.  The APAS system has brought analysis within the reach of
ordinary departments and individuals.  If one has a reasonable budget, the
saving on video analysis equipment can be used towards other equipment
such as force plates and EMG etc (by the way, Gideon has an analogue
module that integrates nicely with the video system).  You could have a
much more versatile, friendly, and complete system for less than you will
pay for a Vicon or MA system. Further, you can get a site license for
little extra cost and have your students, even at undergraduate level,
doing some real research on a powerful and friendly system.

I too was sceptical of the offers made by the Ariel company.  In fact,
when I hosted the 1999 ISBS conference in Perth I initially rejected
Gideon's offer to give delegates free Ariel software.  As I got to know
Gideon I realised that he is genuine in his desire to facilitate
biomechanics research.  If I was not convinced of this I would not be
risking my reputation as the President of the ISBS. 

I strongly suggest that you have a look at the APAS system before spending
excessively and unecessarily on either the MA or Vicon systems.



Professor Ross Sanders PhD
Chair of Sport Science
Department of Physical Education Sport and Leisure Studies
Moray House Institute of Education
The University of Edinburgh
Cramond Road North
Edinburgh EH4 6JD

Email r.sanders@ed.ac.uk
Telephone  (+44) 131 312 6001 ext 208 or 212
Fax (+44) 131 312 6335

ISBS:  http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/External/isbs

Professor Ross Sanders PhD
Chair of Sport Science
Department of Physical Education Sport and Leisure Studies
Moray House Institute of Education
The University of Edinburgh
Cramond Road North
Edinburgh EH4 6JD

Email r.sanders@ed.ac.uk
Telephone  (+44) 131 312 6001 ext 208 or 212
Fax (+44) 131 312 6335

ISBS:  http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/External/isbs

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