Fujitsu To Provide Lidar-based Gymnastics Judging System

I am putting this one in the “you have to be kidding”category, but I can assure you they are serious. Fujitsu has developed a lidar and AI system to remove in part the subjectivity associated with judging world class gymnastics events. It’s based on the angles of a gymnast’s joints.

Images of Fujitsu Uses Lidar to Judge Gymnastics

Fujitsu Uses Lidar to Judge Gymnastics

From an article in IEEE Spectrum.

Perhaps more than any other sport, gymnastics is both an art and a science. As an athlete executes their carefully-rehearsed flips and leaps, judges look to award or deduct points based on the precise position of the gymnast’s body.

To ensure a fair competition, organizers typically rely on highly trained human eyes. Now, an international gymnastics association has agreed to incorporate lidar-based technology developed by Fujitsu into future competitions to help judges assess performances. The organization plans to fully automate scoring by 2020.

Gymnastics’ rigorous scoring rules require judges to closely evaluate the angles of gymnasts’ joints, such as their knees and elbows, as athletes move through their routines. But “human eyes cannot accurately measure the bending angle of joints,” said Shoichi Masui, senior expert of Fujitsu’s gymnastics project. As a result, scores can “fluctuate for identical movements,” he says, which may look like bias or favoritism even though judges are trying to be fair.

The Fujitsu judging support system aims to take that variability out of the equation by using lidar technology to track the angles of athletes’ joints during their competitions. A lidar set up on the sidelines bounces light off the athletes and measures the reflection to create 3-D images that show the contours of the gymnast’s body. Then an AI system—what Fujitsu calls “skeleton recognition technology”—uses those images to determine the angles of various joints: elbows, knees, and shoulders, for example.

For more information click here.

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