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Technological Knockout

Boxing is a sport of brawn, but an Australian researcher is out to show that an electronic brain can aid training and make fights fairer. Engineering student Kane Partridge at Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria embedded impact sensors in the gloves, vests, and headgear of a pair of boxers and connected the sensors to a ringside computer via a wireless link. The computer records every punch thrown, analyzes the blows in real time, and scores the bout, noting illegal punches and ignoring ones that miss. Partridge hopes the system, built for the Australian Institute of Sport, will allow coaches to identify boxers’ strengths and weaknesses and let the fighters study blow-by-blow accounts of their performances. It could even replace human judges in bouts.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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