The concept

The Hockbot is a robot using advanced computer vision technology to assist referees during sports matches (hockey, soccer, football) and calculate real-time statistics on each player. It would also allow viewers to see the game in 3D through a VR helmet by filming the game.

The background

Recently we invested in a young Montreal company (SportlogIQ) that develops software to analyze the performance of hockey players from a single video. In April, we also visited the Japanese company Kawada Robotics and we have seen the evolution of their humanoid robot Nextage. The HockBot combines these technologies as avant-garde as promising.

How it works

The software developed by SportslogIQ identifies the players and calculates dozens of parameters (speed of the players, shooting, time spent in each area, impact strength, etc.). The collected data can then be compiled according to the needs of coaches, spectators in the amphitheater, or amateurs at home.

For its part, the Nextage robot follows thegame and uses additional cameras, placed in both hands, to film additional angles. Thus, it can track multiple players at once and assist referees in reporting offenses. Ultimately, the robot warns the offending players by transmitting a visual or audible signal in their helmets whenever a foul is committed.

With its stereoscopic cameras (eyes), the HockBot could retransmit the 3D version to sports fans equipped with virtual reality glasses such as those sold by Oculus. Fans could be sitting ringside and even see statistics about their favorite athletes in real time.

What it’s used for

The HockBot allow players to improve their performance by comparing their stats. The teams could also discover talented young players based on statistics with supporting videos (screening).  The referees will use this technology to support their work and communicate with all players simultaneously. And the list continues…

The designer

I would like to thank Frederic Laurin Lalonde who created the images of the HockBot concept. Frederick is based in Quebec City. He made his design studies at the University of Montreal and works as a senior industrial designer for Atelier Carcajou.