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  7. Japan Gymnastics Association and Fujitsu Agree to Jointly Research Scoring Support Technology for Competitions

Japan Gymnastics Association and Fujitsu Agree to Jointly Research Scoring Support Technology for Competitions

Japan Gymnastics Association,Fujitsu Limited,Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Tokyo and Kawasaki, Japan, May 17, 2016

The Japan Gymnastics Association, Fujitsu Limited, and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced an agreement to conduct joint research on scoring support technology for gymnastics competitions. This research will combine Fujitsu Laboratories' 3D laser sensors and 3D data processing technology--to discern athlete's joint position and technique--with the Japan Gymnastics Association's expertise in recognizing proper gymnastics techniques.

Background and Objectives

In gymnastics, a sport that awards points in a judging system, considerable efforts and reforms have been made over many years to ensure consistently fair and accurate scoring. However, with the extraordinarily rapid advance of gymnastic techniques, such as with the number of twists, there are times when it is difficult to accurately judge and score a performance with the naked eye. As a result, judges face an escalating burden of making accurate split-second scoring decisions. In addition to judgements made through visual observation, the use of ICT to capture a gymnast's movements, which are then analyzed as numerical data, could work to support more accurate scoring.

At present, motion capture technology(1) is widely used to analyze human movements, but this technology is not practical in actual competitions as it requires the placement of multiple markers, thereby burdening the gymnast. Now, by capturing human movements in three dimensions with the high precision offered by 3D laser sensors, and using the 3D data this generates to recognize an athlete's joint position and the techniques performed, the researchers seek to derive the numerical data needed to judge competitions, and create technology that supports judges' scoring decisions.

Scoring Support Technology

Description of the Joint Research

The companies will consolidate their respective knowledge and work to validate technologies that support judges in their scoring. Fujitsu Laboratories will use its proprietary 3D laser sensor and 3D data processing technology to obtain gymnastics data from athletes registered with the Japan Gymnastics Association, which in turn provides expertise in gymnastics technique recognition and scoring knowledge, as well as a field-trial environment.

Features of Fujitsu Laboratories' Technology

With conventional 3D laser sensors, it is not possible to control the viewing angle in accordance with distance or movements, and using them at long distances results in lower resolution. These factors make it difficult to apply them to sports. Using sophisticated MEMS(2) control technology that automatically adjusts the viewing angle in accordance with the location of a person, Fujitsu Laboratories has now developed technology that maintains good resolution even from a distant location.

Moreover, for the joint position recognition technology, together with a conventional approach of a modeling method for high-speed recognition of posture, Fujitsu Laboratories is also using a new inferring method of applying the optimal form of a joint position to the 3D data. This combination of technologies helped the company succeed in developing high-speed, highly accurate recognition technology.

These technologies will be further refined to enable them to work with the movements of gymnastics techniques and thereby create technology to help with scoring.

Future Plans

When this technology is developed, in addition to reducing the burden on judges in the face of increasingly complex and sophisticated gymnastics techniques, it is also expected to reduce the time required for scoring in competitions, benefitting both athletes and spectators. This technology, when applied for viewing and training, is anticipated to be useful beyond gymnastics and other judging system-based competitions.

Endorsement

Comment from Daichi Suzuki, First Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency

The joint effort by the Japan Gymnastics Association, Fujitsu, and Fujitsu Laboratories to develop new scoring support technology is a wonderful initiative. I would like to see the deployment of Japan's technological capabilities lead to improvements in the performances of gymnasts and the quality of judges, raising the level of gymnastics techniques and the attractiveness of gymnastics as we look toward the Tokyo 2020. I am also hopeful that collaboration between the sports world and corporations, such as in bringing together sports and ICT, will bring greater dynamism to the sports industry.


  • [1] Motion capture technology

    Technology used in the fields of sports and moving picture production that records movements of the human body as digital data.

  • [2] MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems)

    Systems that integrate electrical circuitry and micro-mechanical structures. Also called "micro-machines."

About Japan Gymnastics Association

The Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA) is proud to be the Governing Body for the sport of gymnastics in Japan. The Japanese Olympic Committee and the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) created the JGA. The JGA sets the rules and policies that govern gymnastics in Japan. The JGA has many responsibilities: these include selecting and training Japanese gymnastics teams for the Olympic Games and World Championships; promoting and developing gymnastics on a grassroots and national level; and serving as a resource center for member clubs, fans and gymnasts throughout Japan. The organization has programs in artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, acrobatics, aerobics gymnastics and gymnastics for all. The JGA was established in 1930. The men's artistic gymnastics team has had great success. The team had a total of 10 world championships in a row from 1960 to 1978. Moreover, the Japanese men's team won the 2004 Olympics and the 2015 World Championships. www.jpn-gym.or.jp

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 156,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.7 trillion yen (US$41 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/labs/en/.

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Company:Japan Gymnastics Association

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 17 May, 2016
City: Tokyo and Kawasaki, Japan
Company: Japan Gymnastics Association / Fujitsu Limited / Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

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