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New sensorized equipment will optimize performance and contribute to the reduction of injuries in elite athletes

21 December 2020
It's called Smart Calf Trainer (an equipment for training soleus and gemelli muscles, and the Achilles tendon) and it's a new product that is being developed by Neuroexcellence, a company of reference in the development and production of training and recovery equipment, in collaboration with the INEGI. The main objective? Enable the evaluation of the athletes' performance, through advanced sensing and monitoring of the training sessions, aiming to improve and optimize performance, and increase prevention and recovery of neuromuscular injuries of elite athletes.
 
To be able to meet this goal, this training equipment, which is already in the manufacturing phase, is largely instrumented with advanced sensoring and monitoring systems. With these technologies, it will be possible, for example, to observe changes in the biomechanical responses of athletes, allowing a timely intervention in order to prevent injuries, or help in monitoring the evolution of performance in a post-injury period.

"At INEGI, we were responsible for the development of the mechanical design and sensor systems, which presented us with several challenges. One of them was to design equipment that would allow the exercise in a standing and sitting position and, at the same time, to integrate a combination of sensors and systems” explains Ana Pereira, responsible for the development of the mechanical project at INEGI.

"The sensor systems and the feedback software are highly enriching for coaches, therapists and athletes. An example of this is the triaxial sensor, which allows a more detailed assessment of the three-dimensional force vector, which is one of the innovative aspects of the project”, adds Philippe Pereira, responsible for the development of the sensor system at INEGI.
 
On the Neuroexcellence side, there was the development of the equipment's graphical interface, in addition to the definition of the algorithms and key parameters that must be monitored. "This new product has a high added value. It allows us to diversify our sectorial offer and increase our competitiveness in the market. This time we set out to create an equipment that is specifically oriented to the training of the triceps surae muscle - exercise the musculature of the soleus and gemelli muscles, as well as tendinous structures like the Aquiles tendon, which will expand our product portfolio. In the same vein, we believe that the software is highly differentiated and disruptive in the market, adding an excellent 'user-experience' with advanced analysis algorithms”, explains José Santos, responsible for the project at Neuroexcellence.
 
The Smart Calf Trainer is being developed under the project NexTrainer - New Equipment for Advanced Neuromuscular Calf Training and Recovery, which is co-financed by the Northern Regional Operational Program (NORTE2020), through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).