SESAME: Sensing for Sport and Managed Exercise

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff Metropolitan University
Department Name: Cardiff School of Sport

Abstract

The SESAME consortium is a newly-formed multidisciplinary group that proposes to investigate the use of wireless sensor-based systems in enhancing the performance of elite athletes and young athletes who have been identified as having world class potential. The project has goals of enhancing performance, improving coach education, and advancing sports science. Despite a specific focus on athletics, the technical approach and its solutions will be deliberately generic, to enable their subsequent application to a wider range of training and healthcare scenarios. At present, only a limited set of sensing technologies are available for the coaching of elite athletes, including motion capture, fixed force plates and video recording for feedback. However, they often disrupt the sporting activity and the data they return are difficult to interpret to provide appropriate feedback. Wireless sensing technologies, ranging from accelerometry and magnetometry through to accurate positioning systems, have the capacity to revolutionise the field, by providing information about limb positioning and orientation, athlete location, muscular function, and physiological status, all in real time. Through the SESAME project, dynamic data will come from wearable non-intrusive sensors, augmented by passive video capture. Raw sensor data will be processed to extract meaningful information using a combination of sensor fusion and stochastic signal processing to derive information that is meaningful to coaches and athletes. This will take place in the knowledge that human biomechanics constrains movement and will take account of errors introduced by sensor attachment mechanisms and sensor mispositioning. Biomechanical and physiological performance models will be informed by captured sensor data, and from them idealised movements and the performance effects of deviations will be captured. A comprehensive study of human factors is essential if coaches and athletes are to derive real benefit from SESAME. Ethnographic studies will be undertaken with coaches - to build expert domain-specific knowledge, to capture their cognitive models of performance, and to assist in the design of user interfaces. Feedback to coaches and athletes will be in two forms: (i) graphical, both as a data stream that has been processed to respect the coaches' cognitive models and by overlaying sensor data on video; (ii) as real-time feedback if feasible: e.g. using buzzers. Analysis of an athlete's performance is not only a real-time activity: a definitive record of sensor data, decision support recommendations, medical advice and any clinical events will be maintained, allowing users to take account of relevant medical inputs. Such an approach also allows for comparative studies between athletes and the mining of such information both to improve biological performance models and to understand the effect of deviation from the ideal and precursors to injury. The focus of the work will be on running - specifically sprinting. However, given the national importance of the 2012 Olympic Games we will also explore the possibility of using the technology in other athletic disciplines, more general forms of exercise, and rehabilitation following injury. Should time permit, wider applications such as gait analysis for cerebral palsy patients will also be explored. Athletic training is a highly demanding application domain from the viewpoint of wireless sensor networking / it is necessary to develop and integrate novel sensors, QoS-driven real-time networking, and system autoconfiguration, all using an extensible generic software infrastructure. Consequently, solving problems in this challenging domain will provide a necessary building block for the solution of more generic problems in ubiquitous and sentient computing.The SESAME consortium contains a blend of expertise that is essential for progress in deploying technology in this domain.

Publications

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Armstrong S (2007) Wireless connectivity for health and sports monitoring: a review. in British journal of sports medicine

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Bezodis, I. N., Kerwin, D.G. And Salo, A.I.T. (2008) Lower-Limb Mechanics during the Support Phase of Maximum-Velocity Sprint Running in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

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Bezodis, I.N., Irwin. G., Kuntze, G. And Kerwin, D.G. (2011) Changes in step characteristics between the maximum velocity and deceleration phases of 100 metre sprint run in Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports. University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, ISBS, 455-458.

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Charalambous L (2012) Lower limb joint kinetics and ankle joint stiffness in the sprint start push-off. in Journal of sports sciences

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Cheng L (2010) Wireless Sensor Networks

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Cheng, L., Tan, H., Kuntze, G., Bezodis, I.N., Hailes, S., Kerwin, D.G. & Wilson, A. (2010) A low-cost accurate speed-tracking system for supporting sprint coaching in Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology

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Exell T (2012) Implications of intra-limb variability on asymmetry analyses in Journal of Sports Sciences

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Exell, T., Kerwin, D.G., Irwin. G. And Gittoes, M.J.R. (2011) Calculating centre of pressure from multiple force plates for kinetic analysis of sprint running. Proceedings of the 29th International in Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports. University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, ISBS, .

 
Description With the aim of enhancing understanding of the biomechanics of elite sprint running we discovered that in contrast to previous research related to low velocity human gait, the knee moment in maximum velocity sprint running did not contribute substantially to power generation during the latter part of the ground support phase. This may be explained in part by the specific technical requirements of the maximum-velocity phase of the sprint. However, major periods of power generation of the hip extensors in early stance and of the plantar flexors in late stance were observed. The action of the knee joint during the support phase can therefore be seen to act more as a facilitator for the radial transfer of power from the hip through the ankle on to the ground.
Secondly to ensure that feedback provided via novel wired and wireless technologies to inform the coaching process was customised to athletes, new composite kinematic and kinetic asymmetry scores were developed to quantify individual athlete asymmetries during maximum speed sprint running. These techniques were novel to sprint running and extended existing approaches with the addition of velocity normalisation.
Exploitation Route The findings on lower limb contributions to sprint running have been used for evaluating able bodied and Paralympic athletes for research purposes and also in the International Court of Arbitration in Sport.
The asymmetry scores have been applied to other forms of human movement particularly in the fields of gait and the mechanisms of injury.
Sectors Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism

URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317373
 
Description As a result of publications and conference presentations arising from the SESAME project, the team at Cardiff has attracted interest from world leading researchers in the fields of movement co-ordination and motor control. These are respectively Professors Joseph Hamill University of Massachusetts and Professor Karl Newell, Penn State University. Over the last five years we have established joint ongoing research projects including joint supervision of two PhD students, a three-centre collaborative postdoctoral research appointment and so far four new academic journal publications. These research links are ongoing and have substantively enhanced coordination and motor control research studies enabling them to be extended beyond the laboratory environment into studies focusing on whole body human movement skills in ecologically valid settings.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism
Impact Types Societal

 
Description International Football Development (Artificial Turf and Player Perception)
Amount $100,000 (USD)
Organisation International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) 
Sector Private
Country Switzerland
Start 11/2013 
End 10/2014
 
Description National Sports Development
Amount £27,000 (GBP)
Organisation Sport Wales 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2013 
End 04/2015
 
Description National Sports Development
Amount £18,530 (GBP)
Organisation Sport Wales 
Department Welsh Athletics
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 12/2016
 
Description National Sports Development
Amount £37,100 (GBP)
Organisation Sport Wales 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 12/2017
 
Description ASPIRE Sports Science Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote address to the 2nd ASPIRE Conference in Qatar, entitled 'Advanced Multidisciplinary Application in Technique Analysis in Elite Sports: Example of the SESAME Project'.

The invited keynote address was prompted by information on the EPSRC SESAME website and form part of an international multi-science conference held annually in Doha, Qatar. 2008 was the 2nd such conference.

After this visit the science team at Aspire in Qatar have requested collaboration on data collection in the field and have subsequently co-authored research outputs successfully.
One of the other Keynote speakers (Prof Karl Newell, Penn State University) contacted our group to conduct joint research on motor control of human movement in ecologically valid environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
URL http://www.aipsmedia.com/index.php
 
Description UK-Japan Sports Engineering Symposium, 2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Keynote address entitled 'Trackside technology for developing athletics coaching and performance' was presented by Prof David Kerwin to report aspects of research from the project during a three day conference at Loughborough University.



After my talk there was followup press coverage by Eoin Redahan for the Materials World Magazine, 03 Apr 2011. It summarised the presentation given by Professor David Kerwin of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, as one aimed at improving the training performance level of elite athletes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-quart/36/10.html