'Smartboxer': 2024 Olympic Medals In Mind, IIT Madras Team Working On Boxing Analytics Platform

'Smartboxer': 2024 Olympic Medals In Mind, IIT Madras Team Working On Boxing Analytics Platform

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in collaboration with Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Bellary, Karnataka, are developing a cost-effective boxing analytics platform to increase India’s chances of winning medals in boxing at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. 

The boxing analytics platform is called ‘Smartboxer’. The Center of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics at IIT Madras is developing ‘Smartboxer’ as a multi-version software. 

‘Smartboxer’ will increase the competitive spirit of Indian athletes by providing feedback and performance assessments using Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled wearable sensors and video cameras. 

What Is IoT?

The IoT is a collective network of connected devices and the technology that enables communication between the devices and the cloud, and between the devices themselves, that are embedded with sensors and software for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other systems over the internet. Some examples of IoT-based applications are smart home security systems, wearable health monitors, smartwatches, cameras, and headphones. 

Why Is ‘Smartboxer’ Being Developed?

According to a statement released by IIT Madras, ‘Smartboxer’ will be deployed at Inspire Institute of Sports. The device will analyse the boxers’ performance. The institute will provide its feedback, on the basis of which changes will be incorporated into the ‘Smartboxer’ analytics platform. As a result, the software can be effectively used to assist coaches and boxers. 

According to IIT Madras, sports engineering is a new discipline that requires application of mathematics, physics, artificial intelligence and IoT-driven wearables, and will help to understand the physiology and biomechanics associated with a sport. This will help design better sports equipment. 

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How Can India Increase Its Medal Tally At Paris 2024?

The Union government has shortlisted certain sports which India should focus its efforts on, in order to increase the chances of winning a large number of medals at the 2024 Olympics. These sports include archery, shooting, boxing, badminton hockey, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting, and athletics.

A step which can enable developing countries like India to succeed in winning medals at Olympics is the adoption of a technology-based player management platform. This is the vision of IIT Madras behind developing ‘Smartboxer’.

How Will ‘Smartboxer’ Work?

‘Smartboxer’ consists of IoT-based sensors and video cameras that can provide analytics about player performance. 

The technology involves using sensor-embedded gloves to analyse punch force. There is also a wireless foot insole (removable sole) with a pressure sensor to record Ground Reaction Force. 

The platform will also use wireless electromyography (EMG) sensors to record movement in the player’s lower body. ‘Smartboxer’ will also have an inertial measurement unit to record movement in the player’s upper body. 

The researchers will merge the findings gathered from the sensors and video cameras to provide comprehensive boxing analytics. This will provide information about key traits of the boxer. It is important to know the traits of a boxer because these are evaluated at the Olympics to calculate the scores in boxing matches. The traits include quantity and quality of punches, dominance of the engagements, and competitiveness. 

What Makes ‘Smartboxer’ Special?

In the statement, Professor Ranganath Srinivasan, one of the researchers involved in the development of ‘Smartboxer’, said the technology being developed will act as a bridge between the coach and the elite athlete to identify, understand, and improve the performance constructively. He explained that ‘Smartboxer’ is one among the many initiatives of IIT Madras aimed towards the Indian government’s ambitious goal of winning more medals at the Olympics. 

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John Warburton from the Inspire Institute of Sports said this system will allow one to analyse a boxer’s performance in a way that aids progression. One will be able to highlight to the boxers their strengths as well as areas that require development.

These areas include patterns of movement, activity levels, and punch and defensive repertoires, he said. 

Dr Babji Srinivasan from IIT Madras said the smart boxer system integrates data from video streams and multiple IoT devices, and the information extracted from this data provides fight analytics that will not only help coaches but also the judges to quantify the key traits of boxing champions.