Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Starting signal for athletes with sensory disability

June 15, 2011
Elhuyar Fundazioa
A new system alerts racers about the race start through visual signals -- enabling reaction time equal to other participants.

Competing in races is the life of a runner. But, for sportspeople with sensory impairments, any race is one of obstacles. Tecnalia is working intensely on eliminating these obstacles.

The system involves a series of wireless-interconnected devices in order to facilitate the starts in time trials for persons with sensory disabilities and thus enable the athlete to have a reaction time equal to his or her competitors.

This is a pioneering system, developed by Tecnalia with the help of the Basque companies Enkoa and Leabai and of the Gipuzkoan Federation for Adapted Sports. Therefore, Tecnalia also collaborated with experts in Adapted Athletics, such as the trainer Valentνn Rocandio and Casimiro Ondo, the athlete with hearing and visual impairment.

The project

This project arose from the difficulties that had been detected in hearing-impaired persons when taking part in Open competitions, which are those in which disabled persons compete with people without disabilities. In these competitions, an athlete with auditory disability perceives the judge's start signal from the vibratory movements produced in the ground by the sound from the starting gun, from the visual perception of the explosion produced by the pistol and from the trainer who, on hearing the start order, touches the back of the athlete. All this involves reaction times which can give disadvantage in starting to the disabled runner.

Tecnalia has eliminated this problem with a system capable of automatically distinguishing between the starting signal and a false start, the latter signalled by two consecutive shots, and telling the athlete by means of visual signals. This device aims to minimise the athlete's start time, and thus contribute to improving their competition times and achieve the minimum standards demanded in world championships and, thereby, in the Paralympic Games.

The principal innovation of the system is its capacity to have the disabled athlete perceives the sound of the starting signal at the same time as the rest of the athletes do through hearing. It involves a device with lights placed at the starting line; in front of the athlete and which the athlete's own trainer triggers using wireless technology. In this way, when the start judge announces the start with "on your marks," the coach activates a red light; and when she or he says "get ready," the light goes yellow; and finally, the system automatically perceives the sound of the start signal and the light turns green.

This device was used for the first time on  June 11 at the Meeting in Basauri (in the Basque province of Bizkaia).

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Starting signal for athletes with sensory disability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615062241.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2011, June 15). Starting signal for athletes with sensory disability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615062241.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Starting signal for athletes with sensory disability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615062241.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This

More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins