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"Smart" and customizable kayak adaptable to each athlete has INEGI technology

10 December 2020
The first kayak «intelligent» and customizable to the user is powered by technology created at INEGI. It is a vessel designed to improve the performance of athletes, with configurations of mechanical properties tailored to the user, and built-in sensors that record and analyze data related to performance.  

The idea came from Elio Kayaks, a leading company in the production of high performance nautical vessels, which identified an opportunity to improve this equipment. For highly competitive athletes, kayaks are a fundamental instrument in obtaining results, and engineering and technology can create advantages that make the difference between victory and defeat.  

To respond to this challenge, INEGI's team of specialists designed a set of systems that characterize the kayak's mechanical and hydrodynamic properties - such as the mass, center of gravity, flexural rigidity, drag force and moments of inertia of the vessel.  

The objective, as explained by Nuno Viriato, responsible for the development of the project at INEGI, is "to collect information that will allow the athlete to choose the mechanical properties of the kayak according to its specific characteristics".  

Alongside these systems, the development of a ballast mechanism also contributes to the optimization of the vessel, by distributing the mass in specific places along the length of the kayak, promoting the alteration of the mechanical properties according to the athletes' preferences and objectives.  

Monitoring was also included during the project, with the development of a sensor that assesses the athlete's and vessel's performance in real time.  

For Élio Nogueira, owner of Elio Kayaks, it was "a good choice to have INEGI as a partner in the development of this project", since the "solid presence and the autonomous and dynamic team made sure that the objectives were met".  

The project was financed under the Norte 2020 and PORTUGAL 2020 program. 
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