Sunday, February 10, 2013

Scrum Simulator (Simulateur de mêlée)

There are two reasons that make this project one of the funniest I have worked on: first because it allies technology and sports (rugby), and second because I didn't know a damn thing about rugby which meant that I needed to watch some matches in order to better understand the game's principles and rules and be aware of all the risks and the beating that rugby men had to go through in every match :)

One of the most violent and physical maneuver of this game is the scrum. This maneuver involves 8 rugbymen of each team who enter in collision in order to take control of the ball. Each team has 3 men in the first line, 4 in the second and one last man at the back. The 3 located in the first position are the most vulnerable because they receive the full impact and risk severe injuries if the scrum is taken down.

The scrum simulator was designed to better understand and study the reasons why the scrum may collapse, analyze precisely how rugbymen are behaving during the scrum and help them improve their technique in order to avoid bad scenarios and reduce the risk of injury.

The final system looks much like a spider :) It's a six axis robot solid enough to resist a charge of few tones. It can move and rotate in all directions, and with some computer software, it becomes quiet intelligent and a good partner during training.

Following two videos: the first shows how the simulator is actually used for training, and the second is more about creating the buzz.