Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continue to move beyond military applications and into other fields, such as the exploding health and fitness segment. The latest example is AeroTrainer, a flying robot that is being developed to assist athletes and teams improve their performance while preventing potentially fatal sports injuries like concussions, cardiac incidents, and heat-related illnesses. An unmanned aerial video biotelemetry system, AeroTrainer, is being created to provide a full picture of athletic performance and physical activity to athletes, coaches, and trainers.
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Originating at a New Jersey flight academy, AeroTrainer monitors heart rate, body temperature, and the frequency and intensity of impacts. This data is measured depending on what sport the athlete is playing. For example, runners will be followed alongside the track while football players can be monitored from above. The robot will have preprogrammed plays to follow. The unmanned aerial systems are similar to traditional aircraft—with autopilots, navigation, and flight controls becoming even more advanced.
The robot’s biomechanical sensors, together with software and wireless connectivity, record video using a multi-axis camera system with flight controls that take 360 degrees of video and provide 3D movement analysis. Forward-looking-infrared sensors enable coaches to see players’ body temperatures while biosensors screen heart rates. The device helps reduce the risk of injuries, such as overheating and head impacts, by modeling the body as it moves. Sensors worn in uniforms and helmets interact with the robot to measure these impacts. Monitoring athletes during physical exertion helps identify any serious symptoms.
Users can access data/video through the myAeroTrainer app. A crowd-funding campaign has been launched through Indigogo to raise funds for development and testing. They hope to raise $25,000 in the next month to create this device.