A training system for badminton players utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) that was developed by university researchers and Victor Rackets Industrial Corp is being tested at a Tainan high school, researchers told a news conference at the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taipei yesterday.
Designed to give customized training to athletes, the system combines image recognition, racket motion trajectory, biosignal analysis and a cloud platform for data analysis, they said.
The system is comprised of a badminton racket with a built-in sensor for recording motion, a smart watch, a brainwave sensor and a camera attached to goggles to record biosignals, said Tsai Chia-liang (蔡佳良), director of National Cheng Kung University’s (NCKU) Institute of Physical Education.
The sensor in the racket initally weighed 9.5g, but Victor Rackets was able to optimize the design of the racket handle to keep the weight to within 6g, Tsai said.
The system has been tested by badminton players at National Hsin-Feng Senior High School in Tainan, home to badminton teams that have won several national competitions, he said.
The research team created an experimental field at the school equipped with cameras to capture players’ movements, said Wang Jeen-shing (王振興), a professor in NCKU’s department of electrical engineering.
Reading collected signals through machine learning and integrating all the functions to yield precise analyses were the main goals for developing the system, Wang said, adding that the researchers hope the system will be used by professional players.
To protect players’ personal data, each smart racket has an identification code, but Victor Rackets might later include encrypted information protection services for different levels of players, he added.
Hsin-Feng badminton coach Lee Yi-hsun (李宜勳) said the system allows her to better understand her players’ physical condition, and the students have been inspired by the devices to work harder to improve their performance.
Victor Taiwan marketing and sales division deputy director Elvis Ke (柯泓全) presented the high school with 45 smart rackets during the news conference.
The company’s main competitors in developing smart rackets are Chinese brands, but it is confident that it will gain the upper hand, Ke said.
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