Data logging football

[Ben Kokes] threw together a hardware package to capture data from a football. In the center of a Nerf football he made room for an accelerometer, gyroscope, and an electronic compass.  All three can capture 3-axis data and, along with the LEDs ringing the circumference, they’ve controlled by an XMEGA192 microcontroller.

This makes us think back to a time when baseballs with a built-in speed sensor first hit the market… does this hack have mass marketing potential? Perhaps, but only if the $225 sensor price tag were greatly reduced. When we first started reading the description we hoped that [Ben] had coded an interpreter that would render 3D playback video from the data. He hasn’t done that, but from the data graphs he did assemble we don’t think that functionality is out of the question. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Comments

  1. paido says:

    Very nice project! I ever wanted to do one like this but in a european football ball. Anyway I saw that the Z axis and Y axis are not helpfull (the X yes) because the ball doesn’t have orientation and you can’t know the forces applied when goes up or fall. I don’t know if I explained well. Anyway I repeat very good project.

  2. sm10sm20 says:

    “an accelerometer, gyroscope, and an electronic compass. All three can capture 3-axis data”

    I don’t think a compass can be configured in anyway to provide 3-axis data… if it can I would be very interested to know how.

  3. kjoe says:
  4. medwardl says:

    It could make a useful training device maybe.

  5. saimhe says:

    @paido

    A single axis is enough while all forces act along it. For a random setup, not so much.

    A european ball still needs all three acceleration axes: only then you will be able to calculate the actual force from its three projections.

  6. Wolf Head says:

    @sm10sm20 -I may be wrong here, but the compass detects on all 3 axes, so that when the ball is not on planar to the ground, it can still derive magnetic North.

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