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October 27, 2021

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High-tech help for Winter Games team

In a laboratory at the Beijing Institute of Technology, two researchers put electrodes on the skin of a volunteer’s upper limbs and ask him to wave his arms, while the electrical signals are displayed in real time on a large monitor.

“This device is used in the physical training of Winter Olympic athletes,” said Huo Bo, a professor at the School of Astronautics at BIT.”

“The electrodes are attached to certain parts of the skin to measure the condition of muscle activation during exercise. We can evaluate their muscle strength based on the device. Real coaches can help athletes do a more precise, refined and targeted workout using our report as a reference.”

In 2018, Huo and his research team undertook a project led by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology to develop technologies catering to Chinese athletes gearing up for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The electrodes are part of their self-developed smart training management system that provides personalized and intelligent training assistance for ski jumping, bobsledding and several other Winter Olympic events.

The system includes multiple sets of high-speed cameras that can be installed in training fields to collect real-time three-dimensional posture parameters of athletes and ultra-thin pressure insoles with sensors to measure ground reaction force.

Huo said the technology enables athletes and coaches to better gauge how each player is performing, maximizing the effectiveness of their training and furthering their progress.

Jiang Liang, a member of Huo’s team and a doctoral student at the BIT’s School of Astronautics, said: “The application of quantitative testing and analysis in training did not come as a ‘big star’ at the very beginning for the athletes.

“Our team had to translate technical terms and mechanical vocabularies into sports-related language so they could get familiar with the intelligent system gradually.”


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