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Advanced technologies aim to transform the coaching of top athletes
Date:9/13/2007

fferent positions that can autonomously track a moving athlete and then transmit pictures to the coach for near-instant, slow motion replay. This will require significant technical innovation as no video system currently available can cost-effectively deal with this amount and variety of data.

In addition, the project is developing on-body sensors that will use small, low-power electronics which exploit recent advances in wireless communications to collect data about arm angle, knee lift, body lean etc. This data will be transmitted straight to the coach and synchronised to the video streams to permit extensive data mining and analysis. Identifying the optimum means of presenting this synchronised information to the coach is a key SESAME objective.

Crucially, this new system will enable the coach to give an athlete, during the short time when they are walking back to their mark, immediate feedback and advice on improving their technique with no interruption to training schedules. For example, they could highlight the need for a sprinter to increase or decrease their stride length or knee lift in order to achieve maximum running speed, or for a jumper not to look down during take-off.

Achieving all the projects goals will require wide-ranging multidisciplinary expertise, from computer science and engineering to biomechanics and medical science. A consortium has been assembled to deliver the cutting-edge capabilities needed. The partners are University College London, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff as well as the University of Cambridge. Technology developed by the project is beginning to be trialled, with a view to availability within around 3 years.

Our aim is to use technology to help coaches, not replace them, Robert Harle comments. A key aspect of SESAME is to listen to coaches and understand their needs. Their input could help ensure that we develop technology tools which make a re
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Contact: Beverly Silk
pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk
01-793-444-404
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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