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IIT Madras develops 'Smartboxer' to boost India's boxing medal tally at Paris Olympics

A team from IIT Madras has collaborated with IIS Vijayanagar to develop a cost-effective boxing analytics platform ‘Smartboxer,’ to increase India’s boxing medal tally at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

IIT Madras develops Smartboxer to boost Indias boxing medal tally at Paris Olympics

Nikhat Zareen (in blue) in action during her RD 16 bout at the IBA Women's Boxing World Championships (Source: BFI)



Updated: 29 Aug 2022 1:30 PM GMT

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, and Inspire Institute of Sports (ISS), Bellary, Karnataka, have teamed up to develop software analytics - Smartboxer - to build the country's medal tally up for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The "cost-effective boxing analytic platform" for which a patent would be applied would help identify, understand and improve the performance constructively and thereby help achieve the goal of winning more laurels at the Olympics.

"The analytics platform Smartboxer being developed as a multi-version software by the Centre of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics at IIT-Madras will prove an above-par competitive edge to athletes," the institute said on Monday. It would provide feedback and performance assessments using Internet of Things (IoT) enabled wearable sensors and video cameras. It would be deployed to analyse the boxers' performance at IIS and based on the feedback from IIS, changes would be incorporated into the Smartboxer analytics platform. The results would be effectively used to assist coaches and boxers, a release here said.

"Smartboxer is one among the many initiatives of IIT-Madras that aim towards the goal of winning more medals," the release said. The researchers, along with IIS, are planning to apply for a patent for the Smartboxer after validation from the IIS, it said. The methodology includes using IoT-based products such as sensor-embedded gloves to analyse punch force, wireless foot insole with a pressure sensor to record ground reaction force, wireless EMG sensors to record movement in the player's lower body and inertial measurement unit to record movement in player's upper body.

Video cameras placed in the boxing ring would identify the left and right arms of a player and classify the movements as an attack, defence, or feint. The findings from the sensors and video cameras would be merged to provide comprehensive boxing analytics to provide information about the key traits of the boxer. These traits are evaluated in the Olympics for scoring in boxing matches. They include quantity and quality of punch, dominance of the engagements and competitiveness.

Highlighting how Smartboxer can boost the medal tally at the Olympics, professor Ranganathan Srinivasan, Head, Centre of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics, and adjunct faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT-Madras, said, "This technology being developed will act as a bridge between the coach and the elite athlete to identify, understand and improve the performance constructively."

John Warburton, Head of Youth Development (boxing) at IIS, said this system would allow analysing a boxer's performance in a way that aids progression.

"We will be able to highlight to the boxers their strengths as well as areas that require development such as patterns of movement, activity levels, punch and defensive repertoires – both technically and tactically. I am greatly excited by the potential of the system to use data and artificial intelligence in a bid to identify coaching points and support our observations of the athletes," he said.

Explaining the features of the analytics platform, Babji Srinivasan, associate professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT- Madras, said the Smartboxer integrates data from video streams and multiple IoT devices. The information extracted from this multi-variate data provides fight analytics to help coaches and also judges to quantify the key traits of boxing champions.

The IIT-M had in June signed an MoU with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to focus on making the nation self-reliant in sports technology and high-performance sports equipment.

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