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Advancing predicted feedback for improved motor training

The simple act of shooting a basketball can be maddeningly difficult to master.  This invention exploits feedback to make a substantial improvement in shooting accuracy and performance.  It improves training by giving a shooter feedback about whether a shot will be successful, as soon as the ball leaves the shooter’s hand.  The system uses sensors and computer models to predict the final outcome based on early measurements.  As a result, this advanced feedback system provides quantitative information about each shot attempt delivered instantly, enhancing future performance.

Feedback is known to drive motor learning to improve the movements we make and to allow us to adapt to changing condition.  This feedback usually comes in sync with movement, but for ball sports involving throwing or hitting, the critical feedback about the final outcome of a throw or hit and the success of that outcome are delayed in time.   The main idea behind this system is to improve training by advancing this delayed feedback in time by using sensors and computer models to predict the final outcome based on early measurements. 

The instantiation the researchers have been developing is a training system for advancing predicted feedback for improved motor training for shooting basketball free throws, like giving a shooter feedback about whether a shot will be a make or miss as soon as the ball leaves his or her hand. They do this by using cameras to record the flight of the ball for two frames after it leaves the shooters hand to accurately determine the initial position and velocity of the ball motion.  Extremely accurate measurements are critical as small inaccuracies in the initial velocity extrapolate to much larger prediction errors when the ball nears its target.  Using these measurements and a model of projectile motion for the ball we predict the future flight trajectory of the ball and can provide feedback about it.  The feedback could be about success vs failure (i.e. make or miss) or about the difference (i.e. error) between the predicted ball position when it reaches the rim and the ideal.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending

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