IIT Madras Researchers partners with Inspire Institute of Sports to develop advanced boxing analytics software to increase India’s medals at 2024 Olympics

‘Smartboxer’, a cost-effective analytic platform, will use wearable sensors and video cameras to provide performance assessments of boxers on the four key traits that are assessed for scoring in boxing

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CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras researchers along with Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Bellary, Karnataka, are developing a cost-effective boxing analytics platform to increase India’s boxing medal tally at the 2024 Olympics.

An analytics platform called ‘Smartboxer,’ being developed as a multi-version software by the Center of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics at IIT Madras, will provide an above-par competitive edge to Indian athletes. It will provide feedback and performance assessments using Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled wearable sensors and video cameras.

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

Sports engineering, a relatively new discipline, is an inter-disciplinary domain that requires application of mathematics, physics, Artificial Intelligence and IoT-driven wearables. Sports engineering will help to understand the physiology and bio-mechanics associated with a sport. This will aid in solving sporting problems and designing better sports equipment.

Increasing Olympic medals

To achieve the ambitious target of increasing the medals in the 2024 Olympics, the Indian Government has shortlisted certain key sports to focus its efforts on. This includes archery, boxing, shooting, badminton, wrestling, hockey, weightlifting, cycling and athletics.

In developing countries such as India, it takes around a decade or more to succeed in winning medals at Olympics. A key enabler in achieving this target is in adopting technology-based player performance management, which is the main vision of IIT Madras in developing ‘Smartboxer’.

Highlighting how ‘Smartboxer’ can boost India’s medal tally at the Olympics, Prof. Ranganathan Srinivasan, Head, Center of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics, IIT Madras and Adjunct Faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “This technology that is being developed will act as a bridge between the coach and the elite athlete to identify, understand and improve the performance constructively. ‘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. ”

John Warburton, Head of Youth Development (Boxing) at Inspire Institute of Sports (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. I am greatly excited by the system’s potential to use data and artificial intelligence in a bid to identify coaching points and support our observations of the athletes.”

Methodology

The research involves using IoT-based sensors and video cameras to provide analytics about player performance.

It involves using 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

⮚ 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 key traits of the boxer. These traits are evaluated in the Olympics for scoring in boxing matches. They include quantity and quality of punch, dominance of the engagements and competitiveness.

Explaining the unique features of the analytics platform, Dr. Babji Srinivasan, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “The smart boxer 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.

The IIT Madras Researchers along with IIS are planning to apply for a patent for the ‘Smartboxer’ after validation from the IIS.

A two-day conference on the theme ‘Innovative Technological and Sports Sciences Practices for High Performance in Youth Sports’ was organised by National Centre for Sports Sciences and Research, a division of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), in association with the Sports Sciences and Analytics Centre of IIT Madras in the first week of June 2022 at Panchkula, Haryana.

During the conference, a MoU was signed between IIT Madras and the SAI to focus on making India self-reliant in Sports technology and High-performance sports equipment.

Several faculty from IIT Madras, including Prof. Mahesh Panchagula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), Dr. Nandan Sudarsanam, Associate Professor, Department of Management Studies, Prof A N Rajagopal, Department of Electrical Engineering, Prof. Ranganathan Srinivasan and Dr. Babji Srinivasan spoke during the conference.

 

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