Using wearable sensors in gymnastics

For my Monroe project, I would like to look into how gymnastics performance can be enhanced through wearable sensors. There are many ways that sensors can improve gymnastics performance, including indicating possible deductions that a gymnast can receive on the execution of skills, and locating possible injuries that may arise from an execution of a skill. In this project, I attempt to create a wearable sensor for a shoulder that a gymnast will be able to wear during practice to see the movement of the joint during the execution of certain skills.

For the first part of my project, I plan on creating a sensor by placing an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) on the back of somebody’s shoulder, and placing a magnet between the shoulder and the elbow. An IMU is a device that contains an accelerometer, gyroscope and a magnetometer. In this case, I will use the magnetometer to measure the magnetic field that is created by the magnet on the arm. When the arm moves, the magnet’s motion will be detected by a changing magnetic field around the IMU, and based on the readings of the magnetometer, I will be able to know the position of the magnet, and thus identify the position of the arm and the angle of the shoulder joint. This will all be placed on a sleeve that will be worn to create a wearable sensor.

For the second part of my project, I will wear the sensor during gymnastics practice to test how accurately the sensor is able to pick up the motions of the shoulder. I will see if the sensor will be able to identify the exact motion of a shoulder in quick skills where the shoulder has a large range of motion, or if it has enough information to detect what skill that is being performed, or even just to detect the position of the arm in a hold position.



  1. jsghiorzi says:

    I think the use of wearable sensors for gymnasts is a great idea. The possible use of the sensor to detect injuries is something I find particularly interesting and could make the sensor an even more valuable asset to athletes. Although this research seems to be focused on the benefits to gymnasts I would be interested in seeing how this technology could be implemented for use in other visual arts and sports such as dancing and cheerleading. This is definitely a project I will be following this summer, I’m excited to see how the sensor performs.