Using Guided Missile Tech To Reduce Sports Injuries

Jun 13, 2016

Scientists at Australian Catholic University's School of Exercise Science have developed a formula they say pinpoints overuse, will reduce injury and improves performance. It's published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The so-called "smart algorithms," based on submarine and guided missile technology are implanted in newly-developed wearables and were tested on Australian cricket players.

Cricket bowlers are prone to back and arm injuries as they come charging in with their whole body to propel the ball as fast as they can while keeping their arm straight.

Similar injury prevention technology is also being used in:

  • rugby
  • baseball
  • racing walking
  • golf
  • trampoline
  • skiing
  • tennis
  • track and field

The algorithm relies on the interaction of accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes housed within wearable devices. When the algorithm picks up a delivery it measures the bowling intensity providing both immediate and long term workload analysis.

The study says the algorithm was 99 percent accurate in training and 95 percent accurate in competition.

Kelly Cohen is a cricket player and co-director of UC's UAV lab where he and his students develop unmanned aerial vehicles for the military and civilians. He says they put the same kinds of sensors on the UAVs to better understand their behavior.

"We want to make sure it doesn't crash. One of the reasons it won't crash is if it's reliable, if it is tolerant and if it is safe and so you can see that there is similar outcomes which are desired to operate in a better way. I'm very excited about this because as a rocket scientist and somebody very passionate about cricket, I see the two worlds are meeting.