Zhejiang University: ZJU develops cool technology for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Surfing and snowboarding have a lot in common in speed, jumping and spinning. Scientific research also reveals that their actual mechanism is also very similar.

Based on these similarities, the Center for Chinese Water Sports Development at Zhejiang University, in partnership with Zhejiang University’s Power Machinery & Vehicular Engineering Institute and Hangzhou Dianzi University, develops the cool technology to help the national snowboarding team brace for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics through the motorized surfboards in the summer.

The Center for Chinese Water Sports Development leads research into motorized surfboards. The electric vehicle team led by Dr. ZHU Shaopeng, vice director of the Power Machinery & Vehicular Engineering Institute, integrates the state-of-the-art intelligent networked vehicle technology with traditional motorized surfboard training. In this way, they can monitor and analyze the process and effect of using motorized surfboards for snowboarding training in a digital manner.

ZJU’s technology service team and the national snowboard training team

There are special sensors, data acquisition cards and remote 4G controllers on motorized surfboards, thereby able to collect real-time data about snowboarders’ speed, acceleration, angle and angular velocity, etc.

Athletes using motorized surfboards for snowboarding training in the summer

Coaches can observe snowboarders’ physical state and speed on their cellphones, tablets or computers, analyze received information and present statistical data visually, thus providing more efficient and precise guidance for snowboarders.

The monitoring system is based on a scientific snowboarding dynamics model. As long as snowboarders fail to make any expected snowboarding movement, it will transmit early warnings to their coaches who will then remind them in a timely manner. With long-term training, the monitoring system will gradually build a database regarding their key snowboarding maneuvers. In this way, the advantages of every snowboarder can be clearly displayed.

Take, for example, obstacle slalom training for national male and female motorized snowboarders. Their differences can be clearly displayed by comparison. Specifically speaking, male athletes tend to experience greater speed peaks and wider fluctuations. By sharp contrast, female athletes are inclined to undergo lower speed peaks and more steady speeds.

These data are of appreciable value for the evaluation of training efficacy. This monitoring system can thus be perceived as an interdisciplinary “cool technology” for the Winter Olympics.

“I find it very meaningful to do something for those athletes who fight for the glory of our country. Zhangjiakou, one of the venues of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is my hometown. By exploring sports technology, I think I am serving my hometown indirectly,” said Prof. Zhu emotionally.

“I really appreciate Zhejiang University’s technical support. In 2022, we will strive together for a shared future and empower cross-border elites technologically,” JIA Xin, director of the national snowboarding team, texted Prof. Zhu’s team on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, expressing his high expectations for technology-assisted sports training.

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