Sat, 04 Dec 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- In a laboratory at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), two researchers put electrodes on the skin of a tester's upper limbs and asked him to wave his arms while the electrical signals were displayed in real time on a large monitor.

"This device is used in physical training of Winter Olympic athletes. The electrodes are attached to certain parts of the skin to measure the condition of muscle activation during exercise. We can evaluate their muscle strength based on the device. Real coaches can help athletes do a more precise, refined and targeted workout using our report as a reference," said Huo Bo, a professor at the School of Astronautics, BIT.

In 2018, Huo and his research team undertook a project led by China's Ministry of Science and Technology to develop technologies catering to Chinese athletes gearing up for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The electrode is a part of their self-developed smart training management system that provides personalized and intelligent training assistance for ski jumping, bobsleigh, skeleton and several other Winter Olympic events.

Huo said that the system also includes multiple sets of high-speed cameras that can be installed in training fields to collect real-time three-dimensional posture parameters of athletes and ultra-thin pressure insoles with sensors to measure ground reaction force.

"Automatic recognition powered by deep learning is deployed in the system. And all information collected can be deciphered for aerodynamic analysis, skeletal muscle dynamics analysis and kinematics analysis," Huo said.

He noted that the technology enables athletes and coaches to better gauge how each player is performing, thus maximizing the effectiveness of their training and furthering their athletic progress.

"For example, it offers them suggestions on how to reduce wind resistance, which minor factors would affect both duration and distance in air gliding, and whether an athlete experiences negative acceleration during sledding, among others," Huo said.

"The application of quantitative testing and analysis in training did not come as a 'big star' at the very beginning for the athletes. Our team had to translate technical terms and mechanical vocabularies into sports-related language so they could get familiar with the intelligent system in a gradual manner," said Jiang Liang, a member of Huo's team and a doctoral student at the School of Astronautics, BIT.

Jiang and other team members have been assisting China's national teams for winter sports in training with the help of smart tech since 2019.

"We started from scratch and made the system into reality. It has now gained recognition among athletes and coaches," Jiang said.

Huo noted that the devices will be used in rehabilitation training and scientific research after fulfilling the mission of serving the Winter Olympics training.

"I can't wait to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on site and will surely be proud to see those athletes who my team and I once helped in training take the stage," Jiang said.

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