What if the brain power of Illinois Tech focused on improving performance in sports? Could the skills and abilities of Illinois Tech students help the school’s teams perform better? Beyond Illinois Tech, could they contribute to improved performance in a sport in general? This IPRO project offers students the opportunity to explore these and other questions related to applying scientific, technical and engineering disciplines to sports challenges.
The teams will use design methods to frame, research, innovate and demonstrate approaches to improve performance. Team members will learn design methods to identify a need, explore possible solutions, demonstrate concepts to users and refine them to a final product/service/solution. The teams will be highly encouraged to “get into the field” and observe the challenges faced by coaches and players in their chosen sport.
The results of this work will be solutions that enable athletes and coaches to enhance learning and effectiveness. Example projects include a “smart backboard” that provides shot quality feedback to the athlete and a “shooting sleeve” that uses sensors to help improve basketball shooting.
IPRO team members will be organized in multiple teams of three-to-five students. The teams will explore opportunities to improve performance through:
The team will use the project and the teaching modules to highlight how a design driven process can help interdisciplinary teams work more effectively through shared process, vocabulary and objectives.
Where possible, teams will collaborate with Illinois Tech coaches and athletes. Basketball will be an initial area of focus, but student teams will be able to explore challenges in other sports.
The project will require skills from several disciplines, including ideally biomechanics, electrical and mechanical engineering, app development and interfacing with wireless data devices and use on appropriate platforms, experience with and access to high speed video analysis, and interest in application of virtual reality to sports training and other advanced enabling technologies. In addition, students from all fields of study who have an interest in this project are welcome.
The IPRO team will have the opportunity to collaborate with Illinois Tech Athletics and the basketball program guided by Coach Todd Kelly. Basketball players and other athletes are encouraged to join this IPRO team and/or may have the opportunity to try out the prototypes that are developed.