IMechE - Sports Engineering: An Unfair Advantage

The aerodynamics behind cyclingIn May 2012 the Institute of Mechanical Engineering has produced a film featuring one of the ESPRIT Partners, the Loughborough University about their world class sports engineering research that turned into medal-winning equipment.

Embedded technology covers the behind-the-scenes systems that allow coaches and training programmes to analyse movement and fine-tune performance. Enabling technology covers the equipment that athletes use to compete.
Sports engineers are undoubtedly pro-technology in sport, but they are also passionate about sport – they do not want to see a technology intervention that undermines the value system of a sport, diminishes the sporting challenge and hinders the growth of the sport. Click here for more information. 

Video Podcast for the EPSRC - Tracking the wave of success for Team GB swimmers
ThumbnailTraining sessions for Team GB's swimmers have been getting a helping hand from a new system incorporating cutting-edge movement tracking and sensor technologies.
From starting dives to tumble turns the state-of-the-art coaching aid is the first of its kind to be able to track movement wirelessly through water.
The system has been developed at Loughborough University's Sports Technology Institute in conjunction with British Swimming, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Other partners are UK Sport, Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London.
Click here for more information. 

Developing a New Ultra Low Power BSN Sensing Platform for ESPRIT
poster session at BSN 2012
London, 9-12 May 2012. This international conference hosted by the Hamlyn Centre brought together world leaders in sensing technology to explore the latest trends and technologies in wearable and implantable body sensor networks (BSN).

Over a period of three-days delegates at BSN 2012 heard from a range of distinguished speakers from academia and industry. Conference sessions included energy transfer and harvesting, biosensor design, and interfacing between human and computer interactions.
It was announced at the conference that a new BSN sensing platform will be developed through a collaboration to enable ultra-low power on-node processing, which will lead to further miniaturisation of sensors and prolong their battery life.
Full article available here .

ASTRI - Imperial Collaborations for Next Gen Power Efficient Body Sensor Networks
Hong Kong and London, 8 May 2012. To meet the needs of the emerging BSN market, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is partnering with the Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London to jointly develop a new ultra low power BSN sensing platform for the Elite Sports Performance in Training (ESPRIT) Programme.

In this joint project, ASTRI will integrate the College’s analog intelligent processing front end and  ASTRI’s low power, high resolution ADC, DAC with ARM core into a mixed-signal platform SoC implemented with 0.18µm CMOS. ASTRI will also develop application modules to be used as development platform for BSN applications and end products. The Innovation and Technology Commission in Hong Kong supports this joint initiative.

Full article available
here .

ESPRIT to Help Athletes Achieve Record Levels of Speed, Strength and Endurance
EUREKA Magazine, 15 March 2012. The Imperial College London, together with the ESPRIT Research Steering Group Representatives from top UK technology companies, UK Sport, BAE Systems and McLaren are helping to create a leading edge technology to help UK athletes go for gold. As London Olympic and Paralympic Games are just around the corner, Team GB is calling on the expertise of UK industry to help its athletes achieve record levels of speed, strength and endurance. 
One of the technologies is a sensor developed at Imperial College London, inspired by the semicircular canals of the inner ear responsible for controlling motion and balance. Resembling a hearing aid, the device fits behind the ear and gathers large amounts of data about posture, step frequency, acceleration and response to shock waves travelling through the body as an athlete's feet hit the ground.

Full article available
here .

Biosensors Calculate the Road to Sporting Victory
BBC News, 22 February 2012. One of the companies developing biosensors in Europe, the Slovenian firm TMG, has teamed up with a number of organisations on ESPRIT project. 
In the past few years, TMG's sensors in the areas of muscle diagnostics, training optimisation and injury prevention have helped athletes of different levels - from local clubs to national teams and Olympic Committees - in football, athletics, cycling, basketball, alpine and cross country skiing.
Nine-times Olympic medalist Merlene Ottey is using biosensors to help prolong her athletics career.The object of her close attention is a tiny patch stuck to the skin.Inside it, there is a miniature biosensor that monitors her muscle fatigue levels during training and competitions.The data is then transmitted wirelessly and in real time to a team of scientists and coaches, who analyse it and come up with ideas to help her prevent injury and improve performance.
Full article available here .

Erotic Videos ‘Give Boost to Rugby Players’ (on the pitch)

Daily Mail, 2 January 2012. One of the ESPRIT partners, the UK Sport, which is helping the British Olympic squad with scientific advice, carried out a study that watching erotic videos before a game 'improves players' physical performance.

Experiments involving 12 professional rugby players found that watching a four-minute clip of an erotic or aggressive video increased testosterone levels and led to improved strength and physical performance levels in training sessions that followed. It is thought that the findings, to be published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour, will be able to help coaches boost the effectiveness of training sessions.

Scott Drawer, head of research at UK Sport and ESPRIT Research Steering Group Member, told The Times 'Rugby is a naturally combative sport and putting yourself in an aggressive frame of mind is quite important to how you perform'.

Full article available here .

Lord Coe Opens the ESPRIT 2011 Conference
Imperial News, 15 December 2012. The head of the London Olympic Organising Committee, Lord Sebastian Coe, along with around 150 delegates from a range of insporting organisations, attended the annual ESPRIT Conference, which was organised by the Hamlyn Centre and the UK Sport on 10 October 2011.

The conference was held at Dorney Lake, which is the venue for rowing and kayak events for the 2012 Olympic Games. The event provided Imperial researchers with the opportunity to talk about new sensor technologies that they are developing for elite athletes to improve their training in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympics.

The ESPRIT project is a five-year collaborative research consortium that is funded by EPSRC and led by Imperial. The aim of the programme is for researchers to work with elite athletes and develop new sensor technologies that can help them to improve their training and performance. The long-term plan is to use these sensors and the knowledge gathered during the project to improve healthcare in the UK.

Full article available here.

ESPRIT conference kicks off ICT Olympic activity
ICT News, 22 September 2011. The ESPRIT 2011 heralded the start of a series of high profile events which the UK ICT industry was running, leading up to and cumulating in the London Olympiad.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to see the latest pervasive sensing technologies and technological developments for athletic training and preparation for the Games, as well as the future directions of the programme for healthcare applications. There was also an opportunity to meet leading academics, researchers, sport scientists, health practitioners, coaches, funding bodies and industry leaders.

Hot on the heels of the conference, the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) planned to  publish a major new report: Delivering London 2012, ICT Enabling the Games. Aside from the IET, a number of bodies produced technical papers contributing to the report, including: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games  (LOCOG), the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network (ICT KTN) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Full article available here.

British Olympic squad given technology boost
Financial Times, 1 August 2011. The Britain’s Olympic sailors team is hoping to benefit from an advanced weather forecasting computer system that is being developed by BAE Systems as part of a technology partnership between the UK aerospace and defence company and UK Sport, who are both partners of ESPRIT. The software, originally developed for unmanned aircraft and other military programmes, will allow coaches and yachtsmen to more accurately forecast weather patterns up to eight hours ahead of a race.
Owen Evans, who heads up BAE’s technology partnership with UK Sport, says the deal, worth the equivalent of Ł1.5m in man hours, allows the group to showcase its skills while giving UK Sport access to free technology that would normally be reserved for developing products in the defence sector.
UK Sport, which funds elite athletes, says the collaboration is just one of a series of partnerships that involve developing cutting-edge technology to improve the chances of success for the British Olympic team at the 2012 games.

Full article available here