Improving Sports Performance With A Kinect

As a recent Mech E grad, [Alessandro Timmi] knows a lot about moving bodies. His thesis, Virtual Sensei, aims to quantify those movements for better coaching and training in martial arts.

Virtual Sensei uses a Kinect for motion capture during training. From there, the skeleton recorded by the Kinect has a little bit of processing applied and the speed of the fists is calculated. Check out the demo vid for a much better explanation of what Virtual Sensei can do.

Considering the number of sports that require precise alignment of the skeleton and timing of certain movements, we’re thinking this could be the breakout (non-video game) app to get the Kinect into the wild. Golf pros would love to record the swings of their students to make sure their shoulders are aligned.

Most of the Kinect hacks we’ve seen are either robot builds with a few 3D scanners and virtual wardrobes thrown into the mix. Virtual Sensei is a pretty impressive piece of software and with a few additional sports could make a killing.

Check out the freakin awesome animated FAQ and a demo video below.

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Wireless Accelerometer Project

[Jerome Demers] sent us his extremely detailed semester project. The two part system consists of PICs connected to XBee modules and accelerometers. By using the device a coach can monitor an athlete and correct their minute mistakes.

Did we mention [Jerome] was very detailed? He also goes into the particulars of designing the circuit, using solder paste and baking, designing and laser cutting a case, and even some fun stories. Well worth the read if you have the time.