Students: Ashley Reilly and Jeremy Rine
Course: ME102B: Mechatronics Design
Inspired by their own hobbies, the team wanted to create a training device to help softball players find their ideal swing, which occurs when the batter maintains a horizontal plane position of their shoulders with the ground. Ashley and Jeremy created a haptic feedback device to be used in training to correct the swing and better the chances of a batter hitting a line drive over a pop fly, making the hit more successful and bettering the batter’s chance of making base.
The device triggers vibration motors when the batter’s swing drops below a threshold angle, using an accelerometer as a sensor to collect change in position data, and a coded microcontroller to power the vibrating motors. The team optimized the threshold angle through a series of tests, finding that they could best read the change in angle when the accelerometer was placed at the midpoint of the shoulders, inline with the horizontal plane. They also considered comfort and versatility in the design, incorporating a wearable shoulder harness with the device that is adjustable to fit different body types and does not impeded with the batter’s swing.
Read more about the research, data analysis, and prototyping methods the team used to find their perfect swing!