Calibration and evaluation system for sports equipment

Testea Pádel

The ai2 Institute of the Polytechnic University of Valencia is working in collaboration with the company Testea Pádel, in a laboratory with the same name, for the calibration of paddles, whose results are the first system of validation of the quality parameters of this sports tool. Important brands such as Adidas, Nox, Head, Star Vie, Royal Padel, Kelme and Cartri, who have provided sports equipment and have shown interest to implement the quality system developed.

The calibration and evaluation system has used the most modern robotic technologies and had the collaboration of expert players. The ai2 Institute has developed a calibration and evaluation system whose tests were carried out both in the laboratory and on a court. The parameters evaluated were: (1) touch perceived by the player when he hits the ball, (2) the vibration that reaches his wrist, (3) the size of the paddle’s sweet spot, (4) the paddle’s power, (5) the ball’s output, (6) the blocking that the paddle allows, (7) the manageability, (8) the resistance, (9) the hardness of the materials and (10) their life span.

For the analysis of the variables the researchers of the ai2 Institute programmed a Stäubli robot adapted for the study, using inertial sensors in several paddle tests. The use of robotic technology allows for repetitive movements. These movements are performed with great precision, homogeneously and with a hitting position with a very exact repetitiveness for the analysis of the relevant parameters.

This allows the laboratory to offer a blade calibration system to manufacturers, using tools that provide predefined and standardised manufacturing quality controls.