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AI Coach to Enhance Sports Safety on Campus

"Woooo...woooo...Put down your softball...," sounds the alarm, as a student tries to pick it up.

Warning the student was an artificial intelligence (AI) coach which can analyse images and students’ motions with its camera sensor, in addition to assessing students’ postures and the safety of their surroundings. For improper postures, the AI coach will issue a ‘whining’ alarm, and red dots, or frame lines, will appear on a computer screen to indicate the problem. 

According to Mr Roy Chan Ching-yat, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Health and Physical Education of The Education University of Hong Kong, this softball detection system came about through a joint effort by the University and Tai Po Old Market Public School to combine AI and sports training. He said, “The prolonged pandemic has greatly affected students’ participation in physical activities, which in turn has weakened their abilities in balance and reflexes. It is against this backdrop that EdUHK initiated this project, which allows prospective teachers to address the issues together with pupils, applying the latest technology to physical education."
In addition to this softball detection system, the team has also designed other sports safety devices, namely a running pose monitoring system and a vertical jump analyser. With the help of AI, the vertical jump analyser captures the postures of students preparing to jump – including bending the knees, maintaining a neutral spine, and throwing the hands up – to determine whether the posture is correct.

Mr Ng Ka-ho, Curriculum Development Officer of Tai Po Old Market Public School, described the collaboration as meaningful, as it allows the application of cross-disciplinary knowledge and creates opportunities for university students to engage with schoolchildren.

He said, "The integration of AI with different subjects will become a new trend in education. I look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with EdUHK for application in a wider range of subjects."