science 22.3.2018 11:52

Computer vision-based ski jump measuring developed in Slovenia

Ljubljana, 22 March - Engineers at the Ljubljana Faculty of Computer and Information Science have developed a system for measuring the length of ski jumps based on computer vision, which they hope will gradually replace the currently predominant manual and video distance measuring.

Ljubljana
Matjaž Kukar from the Faculty of Computer Science
Photo: the faculty

According to the developers, the solution is more precise and effective than the current systems used for measuring ski jumps.

It is not surprising that the system was developed in Slovenia, as ski jumping and ski flying are one of the most popular sports in the country with more than 100 official competitions taking place every year.

Jumps at lower-ranked competitions are still measured by a designated official without the aid of video, while expensive and technologically demanding video distance measuring is used in the World Cup.

The Faculty of Computer and Information Science now offers the system using computer vision as a cheaper and more precise alternative, based on the use of a camera connected to a portable computer.

The computer has a special application which enables the user to set up the measurement system for an individual hill, while the computer vision system detects the landing spot of an individual jumper.

The developers first want to get ski jumping clubs interested, as the application also enables video analysis of the landing, and try to start applying the system in lower-ranked competitions.

"We want the system to become a new standard for measuring the length of ski jumps both in training and in national championships and youth cup," said Matjaž Kukar of the faculty.

They want to develop the system further in partnership with a sport measurement company to offer a solution for ski jump measuring for the highest-ranking competitions.

"We want to continue with the project. We have a number of improvements in the works, which are a product of cooperation with ski jumping teams," Kukar said.

The application allows ski jumps to be measured faster and could help speed up competitions at lower ranks where measurements are still performed manually.

It usually takes two days for the system for the World Cup to be set to be set up and it is a demanding project technology- and time-wise. A computer vision-based solution would be more efficient, he concluded.