‘Follow a punch’ – IIT technology to help Indian boxers analyze punches, boost chances of Olympic medals


At the higher levels of competitive boxing, it’s not enough to throw a punch, you also have to be able to follow the punch. Factors such as punching strength, upper and lower body movement must be closely analyzed and evaluated to improve a pugilist’s performance. To this end, teams from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) and the Inspire Institute of Sports in Karnataka are working on a cost-effective, technology-driven solution that will help boxers and their trainers .

Dubbed “Smartboxer”, this analysis platform is intended to provide detailed analysis of a boxer’s performance based on wearable sensors. These sensors would be integrated into the gloves (for strike force analysis), the foot pressure sensor (for ground reaction force), in addition to sensors to track upper and lower body movement. . Video cameras placed in the ring would also identify the boxer’s left and right limbs, while classifying his movements as attack or defense or feint (a deceptive or simulated blow, a push, especially in boxing).

According to Dr. Babji Srinivasan, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, “The smart boxer system integrates data from video streams and multiple IoT devices (sensors). The information extracted from this multivariate data provides analyzes of fight that can not only help trainers but also judges to quantify the key traits of boxing champions.”

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Once the data is collected from the sensors and the camera, it will be merged to provide comprehensive boxing analytics and key boxer characteristics. These traits which include punch quantity and quality, engagement dominance, and competitiveness are valued and used to score Olympic boxing matches.

WION asked about the progress made in the development of “Smartboxer” and how it compares to offerings in the international market. In response, Prof. Ranganathan Srinivasan, Head of the Center of Excellence for Sports Science and Analytics, IIT Madras, said that boxing data has been collected over the past two months and that the fundamental algorithms (identifying the boxer, ring awareness) were in the testing phase, while a few more algorithms (calculating boxing metrics (such as number of punches, type of punch, etc.) would be developed within a year He said he was confident the team was working to develop him in time for the 2024 Olympics.

He added that the UK has advanced analytics software called iBoxer and this software is not made available to other countries, given the highly competitive nature and prestige of the Olympics. Thus, he explained that the know-how must be developed by each country for its advancement at the Olympics.

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