IIT-M’s ‘Smartboxer’ To Help India Boost Olympics Medal Tally

CHENNAI | Updated: 29 August, 2022 5:53 am IST
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A cost-effective boxing analytics platform is being developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in collaboration with Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Bellary to help India increase its medal tally in boxing in the 2024 Olympics.

The researchers are developing an analytics platform called ‘Smartboxer’ as a multi-version software. It will provide an above-par competitive edge to Indian athletes.

The platform will provide feedback and performance assessments using Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled wearable sensors and video cameras to athletes, as per officials at the IIT Madras.

‘Smartboxer’ will be deployed to analyse the boxers’ performance at Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS). Based on the feedback, changes will be incorporated into it to be effectively used to assist coaches and boxers.

The project is part of the government’s ambitious plan to improve the medal tally in the Olympics with a focus on certain key sports like archery, boxing, shooting, badminton, wrestling, hockey, weightlifting, cycling and athletics.

“This technology will act as a bridge between the coach and the elite athlete to identify, understand and improve the performance constructively,” said Prof. Ranganathan Srinivasan, head of the Center of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics, IIT Madras.

‘Smartboxer’ is one among the many initiatives of IIT Madras aimed towards the Indian government’s ambitious goal of winning more medals in the Olympics, he added.

John Warburton, head of Youth Development (Boxing) at IIS said, “This system will allow us to analyse a boxer’s performance in a way that aids progression. We will be able to highlight to the boxers their strengths as well as areas that require development such as patterns of movement, activity levels, punch and defensive repertoires – both, technically and tactically.”

‘Smartboxer’ will use IoT-based products such as sensor-embedded gloves to analyse punch force, wireless foot insole with a pressure sensor to record ground reaction force, wireless EMG sensors to record movement in the player’s lower body, and an inertial measurement unit to record movement in player’s upper body. Video cameras placed in the boxing ring will identify the left and right arms of a player and classify the movements as an attack, defence, or feint.

These findings gathered from the sensors and video cameras will be merged to provide comprehensive boxing analytics to provide information about the key traits of the boxer.

“These traits are evaluated in the Olympics for scoring in boxing matches. They include quantity and quality of punch, the dominance of the engagements and competitiveness,” stated Prof. Srinivasan.

Explaining the unique features of the analytics platform, Dr Babji Srinivasan, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “The system integrates data from video streams and multiple IoT devices. The information extracted from this multivariate data provides fight analytics that can not only help coaches but also the judges to quantify the key traits of boxing champions.”

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