- What is Virtual Sensei™?
- What is the purpose of Virtual Sensei™?
- How can Virtual Sensei™ improve an athlete's performance?
- Is it hardware, software or both?
- Is this system reserved only for Karate athletes?
- How does Virtual Sensei™ compare to other performance evaluation systems?
- Is Virtual Sensei™ for sale?
- How can I support this project?
- What is the significance of the name?
Virtual Sensei™ is an innovative software for the objective evaluation of sport motions, based on quantitative parameters (kinetic energy, velocities and accelerations, translational and rotational) and not on sensitive impressions or empirical methods.
The purpose of this project is the development of a tool for a scientific analysis of a multiplicity of complex and fast motions involving the whole human body. The final target is the improvement of the sport performance.
Athletes can record and analyze their movements, displaying data such as kinetic energy, limbs velocities and accelerations, the position and the ground projection of the body center of mass (COM) and the orientation of the instantaneous screw axis of the pelvis.
The tool can be used in many fields as the following:
- judgement of sport gesture correctness and efficacy;
- monitoring of the athlete’s performances during a certain period of time;
- comparison of several athlete’s postures and movements;
- training optimization.
This tool can be considered as an useful support in elite athletes’ training. By using this software and its quantitative data, both athletes and coaches can become more aware of their real potential.
Virtual Sensei™ system includes both hardware and software components. The hardware consists of a commercial motion capture (mocap) system, that can record high frame rate video (100 fps, while standard cams shoot at 25 fps) from multiple points of view. Moreover, a complete set of accessories are needed, and many of them were modified to suit the special needs of this innovative system.
However, the core of the tool is the software, developed to process mocap data and to show the results to the user.
No, it isn't. Karate, with Kata and Kumite specialties, is a discipline centered on the execution of complex and fast techniques involving the entire body. Therefore it is the perfect testing ground for this new system. Every other sport can take advantage of this tool.
Virtual Sensei™ is absolutely innovative because of the chosen performance criteria. Taking into consideration the variability of the anthropometry (human physical variation), not only the kinematic parameters of a gesture (trajectories, velocities, accelerations), but also of the inertial ones (masses, geometries and moments of inertia) are influential. The kinetic energy takes both velocity and inertial parameters into account.
Not exactly. However, you can download Virtual Sensei Lite™, which is free.
We are cooperating with FIJLKAM - Italian Federation of Judo, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Karate and Martial Arts (the only Italian federation recognized by the CONI - Italian National Olympic Committee, the WKF - World Karate Federation and the IOC - International Olympic Committee) to collect as much field experience as possible.
Nevertheless, if you are interested in this project, feel free to contact us.
The best way to contribute is to spread the word, link to this page, blog about Virtual Sensei™, embed our banner in your website or give us suggestions and opinions. All kinds of feedback are helpful to us.
The name Virtual Sensei™ is the union of two words: Virtual, from virtual reality, is related to the 3D representation (a skeleton) of the athlete offered by the Graphical User Interface (G.U.I.) of the software; the word Sensei is the Japanese term used to refer to the martial arts master.
Virtual Sensei Lite™
- What is Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- Who is the intended user of Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- What kind of hardware is required to record motions in Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- What are the capabilities of Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- What are the advantages of using Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- What kind of license does govern the usage of Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- What is the main goal of Virtual Sensei Lite™?
- Why did you choose Microsoft Kinect for motion tracking?
Virtual Sensei Lite™ is an in-house developed software for instrumented and objective 3D biomechanical analysis of sports motions. It is a simplified version of the one tested on the athletes of the Italian National Karate Team.
You are the intended user of Virtual Sensei Lite™. Keep reading and discover why this tool is suitable for coaches, athletes, scientists and sports enthusiasts, from all over the world and from various disciplines.
Virtual Sensei Lite™ uses Microsoft Kinect depth sensor to track the athlete's motions. This low cost device is available both online and in physical stores. It is connected to the PC using an USB cable. See the help for more info about this topic.
Virtual Sensei Lite™ allows evaluating the athlete's body kinetic energy released during the execution of techniques. Moreover, hands and feet speed are calculated. These kind of data are plotted and displayed side by side with a 3D animation of a skeleton that reproduces athlete's motions.
- results (both animation and plots) shown at 100 fps;
- data export in most common file formats;
- motion replay at the desired speed and from any point of view;
- visualization of the body center of mass (COM) and of the joint trails inside the 3D scene.
- 3D motion tracking with maximum freedom of movement, thanks to Microsoft Kinect markerless technology.
- Comparison of performances among athletes of different sex and body-build.
- Monitoring of performance level throughout the year.
- Not time consuming: no camera setup, 3 seconds skeleton calibration, instantaneous and automatic data processing.
- Easy to use: see the online help and the video tutorials.
- Costless: free download here.
Virtual Sensei Lite is freeware, with the exception of some modules, which are open source. You can find the End User License Agreement (EULA) here.
Virtual Sensei Lite™ was developed to become the standard tool for quick and easy sports motion analysis inside clubs (or at home), not only for Karate but also for other disciplines.
- making simple and fast 3D biomechanical analysis;
- monitoring athletes performances during a certain period of time;
- verifying the efficacy of the adopted training protocol.
Making it free, our hope is that it will be downloaded worldwide.
There are many reasons that led to the choice of using Microsoft Kinect sensor for motion capture:
- you need only one sensor to track human motions;
- it allows markerless motion capture, for the maximum freedom of movement and reduced setup time;
- it is distributed worldwide, because it was designed as a controller for a video game console;
- it is low cost.
Since the innovative technology behind Microsoft Kinect is still growing, this device still manifests some tracking problems. Virtual Sensei Lite™ is a work in progress too. The issues of both the systems are well documented in the help.