"SMART RINGS" at the European Championships Men’s Artistic Gymnastics 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria

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"SMART RINGS" at the European Championships Men’s Artistic Gymnastics 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria

May 23, 2014

Janssen-Fritsen and the InnoSportLab ’s-Hertogenbosch are executing Measurements on Still Rings on the ECh MAG 2014 at the Request of the European Union of Gymnastics and with Approval of the International Gymnastics Federation.
Photo: typical Example of a Force signal (red line: left Ring Force signal and blue line: right Ring Force signal) plotted through a Video of a Still Rings Exercise.(Still Image from FIG Video).
 
Cause
UEG asked Janssen-Fritsen and InnoSportLab ‘-Hertogenbosch last november 2013 to develop together an Aid to determine Hold Time for Still Rings. 
 
Brief History
Earlier on InnoSportLab ’s-Hertogenbosch started Activities to develop “Smart Rings” as an Aid to Coaches and Gymnasts . Main question for them focussed on how to correct imbalans/asymmetry during the Swing Elements of a Still Rings Exercise.  
During the World Championships of 2013 in Antwerp (B) Janssen-Fritsen and InnoSportLab ‘-Hertogenbosch presented to the World a first Version of the “Smart Rings” in the VIP-stand of Janssen-Fritsen. A lot of Attention was drawn with this new, sensored Still Rings Apparatus.  
 
Goals
The development of the Smart Rings has the following Goals:
1. Coaches and Gymnast can use the Information from the Smart Rings to discover possible asymmetries in their Force Exertion on Rings. Better Information and Support by Coaches to their Gymnasts regarding improving their Exercises is their main Focus. 
2. In the Future we are also aiming at direct (audio)feedback to Gymnasts about Hold Time and symmetrical Force Exertion on the different Elements of the Still Rings Exercises.  
3. For UEG it is a goal to develop an Aid for Jury Members to support their Judgements on Hold Time. 
4. Janssen-Fritsen wants to develop and test a first Version of a Still Rings Apparatus with built-in Sensors for the Market. 
To reach these Goals a big set of adequate Force and Video registrations – so called Data Sets – are needed. Goal of the Presence of the InnoSportLab during this Championship is to acquire as much as possible Data Sets on Still Rings during warming-up, qualification- and Championship Routines. 
After the European Championships these Data will be used to develop a computer algorithm to determine Hold Time automatically on the basis of the built-in Sensors in the Still Rings Apparatus. If succesful, more Feedback to Coaches ande Gymnasts can be given on Hold Time for use in Training Practice. 
 
Photo: red Line: Left Force signal, blue Line: Right Force signal. Sensors and Cables are built-in the Still Rings Apparatus.
 
Measurements of Force and Video
In the upper Beam of the Still Rings Apparatus are 2 Force sensors built in which connect directly to the cables of the left and right Ring. Force signals are measured with 1.000 measurements per second on both Rings separately (Photo previous Page). All Force Measurments start and end automatically (based on a certain level of Force Exertion by a Gymnast) and are synchronised with High-Speed Video Recordings for Reference Purposes (50 frames per second). 
All Signals are captured with a Measurement Device which is directly coupled to a Computer which saves all data.
During the European Championships, two Employees of the InnoSportLab - Arno Pluk (embedded scientist) and Maurice Aarts (Human Movement Scientist) - will execute the Measurements from a Table positioned directly to the Podium.
All acquired Data – on Left and Right Ring as well as High-Speed video – are real-time visible on a Laptop Computer (Photo below).
 
Photo: setup at the Podium with a Laptop with the (current) developped Measurements Software which shows a Real-time Measurement: below are the 2 Force Signals, in the upper right Corner the (rotated) High-Speed Video.
 
Results
Main Goal at this European Championship is to capture as much as possible Datasets (Left and Right Force Signal Registrations combined with High-Speed Video Recording) of Still Rings Routines. 
 
Further Developments
The Results of these Measurements will be used after the European Championships to develop a Computer Algorithm (software) for automatic detection of Hold Time of Posture Elements in a Still Rings Routine. 
 
Value of this Project
For Gymnastics, further technological Support is an interesting Development for Coaches and Gymnasts because of more and better Information for Training as well as for Gymnastics Unions in their Support of Judging. The Public can be involved more in Gymnastics by providing additional Information about Gymnastics Routines and the magnificent Achievements of its Gymnasts.
To Janssen-Fritsen and InnoSportLab ’s-Hertogenbosch the joined Development in cooperation with UEG (and future FIG) is valued as an innovative and important Partnership for future Development and Promotion of Gymnastics. Also, to Janssen-Fritsen this Project can possibly in the future lead to a sensored Still Rings Apparatus as a new Product. 
 
Acknowledgements
This Project is a cooperation of Janssen-Fritsen BV, InnoSportLab ‘-Hertogenbosch and UEG and was co-funded by the Support of the Regional Gouverment of Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands. Furthermore our thanks go out to IMC Nederland for their Hardware Support.
 
More information:
Press release - Contact :Maurice Aarts, manager of the Sports Innovation Lab “InnoSportLab ’s-Hertogenbosch” - maurice.aarts@innosport.nl. 
Photos: © InnoSportLab ’s-Hertogenbosch.
 
Main picture : the former Champion Iordan Iovtchev test the system - Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation