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Young Archer Develops Real-Time Archery Coaching App


Young Archer Develops Real-Time Archery Coaching App

Archers compete during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo Olympic Archery venue on August 5, 2016. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

When Sriram Bhimaraju was six, his grandfather taught him about electronics. Now, aged 12, Sriram has used that knowledge to build a real-time archery coaching system called Archery Assistant. As a result of his creation, Sriram has been named a finalist in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Named after Lord Rama, a Hindu god whose weapon was the bow and arrow, Sriram also took up archery a few years ago. But as he started competing last year, he struggled.

When I got to practice at the range without my coach, I found it really hard,” Sriram explained. “I got the same feedback class after class because I couldn’t improve my form practicing alone. My friends in my class also had the same kind of problem.”

So Sriram set out to create something that would help him and his classmates. Archery Assistant uses flex sensors that connect to a phone via blue tooth, plus the accelerometers and gyroscopes in a smartphone, to collect data from the bow. Information from the flex sensor helps the archer learn how much to pull back the bow, while data from the accelerometers and gyroscopes help with angle and orientation.

“It took about nine months to make my first prototype because there were a lot of physics formulas, research sensors, programming and circuits involved with this, so it did take a long time,” Sriram explained.

“Electronics and technology is developing so much, but nobody was really applying it to archery,” Sriram said. “That’s another reason that I wanted to do my project.”

The Archery Assistant app helps improve shooting form through audible cues, which Sriram hopes will also make it useful to those with disabilities. “I wanted to help blind archers a lot, so I made my app talk.”

Sriram is one of 10 finalists in the Young Scientist Challenge. Other innovations include a toilet flushing system that reduces water consumption and research into a cure for Huntington’s Disease.



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