The OpenSim and NCSRR team has an ambitious set of plans for 2013 and beyond. Here's what's coming:

Community, Outreach, and Education

  • An Official Network of OpenSim Experts. The number of modeling and simulation experts in the world is rapidly growing. We plan to establish an official program to designate and engage these experts. Many active hubs of OpenSim knowledge, beyond Stanford, will strengthen the community and expand the reach of simulation. We are drafting the charter for the program and will release more details soon.

  • Teaching and Example Repository. We are reorganizing the many teaching and example materials, created at Stanford and elsewhere, to make it easier to find content and contribute new tutorials, labs, lectures, and other training documents.

  • Musculoskeletal Model Library. We are working to improve the library of OpenSim models to make it easier to find existing models and contribute new models. Researchers looking for a model will be able to quickly find the intended uses of a posted model, what data was used to build the model, and how the model has been validated.

  • New Examples and Videos. We plan to create new, simple model and simulation examples to demonstrate key biomechanics concepts. We're also developing a series of instructional videos based on Scott Delp's biomechanics courses at Stanford and our OpenSim workshops.

  • Workshops, Webinars, Visiting Scholars, and Pilot Projects. The NCSRR will also continue its spectrum of activities designed to foster rehabilitation and simulation research. Stay tuned to our website and via our mailing list to hear about upcoming events and opportunities.

Software Development

  • Interactive and Flexible Modeling and Simulation Studies. Cutting-edge biomechanics research, simulation-based device design, and compelling teaching examples require tools for asking "what if" questions and identifying cause and effect. We're adding new features and improving the usability of existing tools so researchers can easily reach beyond the typical gait workflow and explore simulations in new ways. This includes:
    • Flexible and intuitive inputs and outputs for simulations.
    • Expanded model editing and building capabilities.
    • An expanded set of probes and a streamlined interface so researchers can quickly and easily extract information from a simulation.
    • An API for creating optimization goals, running optimizations, and designing custom simulation studies.

  • A Focus on Performance. Our latest research here at Stanford requires accurate real-time forward simulation of gait with contact. The performance optimization we're doing to enable this work will make OpenSim faster and more robust for all users.

  • Accuracy and Testing. We have an extensive suite of tests that any new models or algorithms must satisfy before they are distributed to users. These tests monitor physical and physiological accuracy, speed, compatibility between versions, and more. We continually create new tests and fix any reported bugs or issues.

  • A Fast and Beautiful Visualizer. Stunning movies and figures are vital for scientific publications, presentations, teaching, and public outreach. We're overhauling our visualizer to achieve graphics that match OpenSim's state-of-the-art dynamics and biomechanics algorithms.

  • Usability Improvements. We've read the user forum, observed users at workshops, and sat down with researchers to identify the top usability issues in OpenSim. We're fixing these issues to streamline user workflows.

  • Troubleshooting Help. We're working to add more feedback in the GUI so users can track down simulation errors and speed issues.

  • Mac and Linux Compatibility. The number of Mac and Linux users is growing, so we are working towards cross-compatibility.

  • Full-Featured Scripting. We introduced scripting, in the GUI and Matlab, with OpenSim 3.0. With our next release, we're exposing all of the OpenSim API and making it easier to find help and documentation directly from the GUI or Matlab. 

  • A New Standard Full-Body Model. We're creating a new standard full-body model for OpenSim that incorporates the most current experimental data and new muscle and joint models from the latest biomechanics research.

We're planning to roll out these improvements over a series of software releases.