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Adding Sensors to Improve Your Curling Game? Turns Out It’s Really Hard

Sometimes, a mission seems to be tougher than anticipated at each and every flip and the plug will get pulled. That was once the case with [Chris Fenton]’s efforts to realize perception into his curling sport by way of including sensors to observe the motion of curling stones in addition to the broom motion. Luckily, [Chris] documented his efforts and equipped us all with a possibility to be told. After all, failure is (or must be) a very good supply of finding out.

The first piece of {hardware} was once supposed to log curling stone movement and use it so that you can measure the efficiency of the sweepers. [Chris] sought after to stay a easy sensor brick comprised of a Teensy 3.0 and IMU to a stone and log the entire motion-related information. The thought is simple, however in observe it wasn’t just about as easy. The gyro, which measures angular speed, did a excellent process of maintaining a tally of the stone’s spin however the accelerometer was once a special tale. An accelerometer measures how a lot one thing is rushing up or slowing down, however it merely wasn’t in a position to correctly sense the delicate and slow adjustments in pace that the stone underwent because the ice forward of it was once swept or now not swept. In idea a good suggestion, however in observe it ended up being the incorrect instrument for the process.

The different means [Chris] tried was once to make a curling broom with a care for that lit up another way in response to how onerous one was once sweeping. It wasn’t onerous to position an LED strip on a brush and lightweight it up in response to a load sensor studying, however what ended up sinking this mission was once the wish to do it in some way that didn’t intrude with the broom’s number one serve as and objective. Even a mediocre roller applies extraordinarily prime forces to a brush when sweeping in a curling sport, so now not simplest do the electronics wish to be extraordinarily rugged, however the broom’s shaft wishes in an effort to face up to really extensive drive. The supreme shaft can be a transparent and hole plastic conserving an LED strip with an attachment for the weight sensor, however no plastic was once as much as the duty. [Chris] made an aluminum-reinforced shaft, however even that simplest slightly labored.

We’re happy [Chris] shared his findings, and he stated the mission merits a extra detailed record. We’re having a look ahead to that, as a result of failure is a brilliant trainer, and we’ve celebrated its finding out doable over and over.