Kinematic parameters that “Rock” the ice
Curling is a game that has evolved from humble beginnings to become an internationally recognized sport. Understanding the scientific elements that contribute to the game’s success is imperative to appreciate the sport fully. From the ice surface’s friction to athlete mechanics, science does not just shape the game of curling; it is an integral part of it. Researchers in Kitami, Japan understand that in order to enhance performance in the sport, it is essential to analyze and scrutinize every movement.
Argo Graphics Kitami Curling Hall is not just any ordinary curling hall. This state-of-the-art facility is open year-round, offering a wide range of activities for both the general public and top athletes from Japan and overseas. From curling classes to training programs for adults, there’s something for everyone – even sightseeing.
Revolutionizing the sport of Curling
A standout feature of Argo Graphics Kitami Curling Hall is its collaboration with the Kitami Institute of Technology, a leading research center for winter sports science. Thanks to this partnership, the facility boasts cutting-edge technology to evaluate player performance and improve competitiveness.
One key tool in this effort is Qualisys motion capture system, powered by 8 Miqus M3 cameras. Through motion capture, researchers can analyze every millisecond of a curling athlete’s delivery, from the sweeping motion to the stone’s trajectory on the ice. The technique involves fitting athletes with reflective markers and recording their movements through mocap cameras. By examining the data collected, coaches and athletes can gain insight into the mechanics behind a perfect curling shot.
The mocap system captures athletes’ kinematic parameters to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. The Qualisys cameras mount above the ice, hovering over the top of the sheet to capture athletes’ movement, such as the center of gravity and joint angles. The data is then analyzed by Visual3D to generate a 3D model of the object.
Additionally, the Kitami Institute of Technology has developed a Stone Tracking system that can follow the movement of the stone. By measuring the movement in sync with the stone trajectories, it analyzes the player’s posture and throwing movement, providing feedback to the players. Combining the data of athletes and stone, researchers and coaches conduct technical analyses of curling athletes and provide specific training suggestions.
A clean sweep
Despite the challenges that come with motion-capturing athletes on ice, the Qualisys system’s noise reduction function enables clean data acquisition without compromising accuracy. Plus, its seamless operation from measure to analysis makes on-site data capture and technical analysis a breeze.
These features are a large factor to what makes the on-site data capture and technical analysis to be possible, which, in turn, allows the athletes to elevate their performance to new heights at Argo Graphics Kitami Curling Hall.
"The Qualisys system deploys seamless operation from measure to analysis; it can be easily used by everyone from the top level to the general public to improve their own performance and objectively see their own play."Masui Fumito
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