The Korean archery team won one gold medal each from men’s, women’s, and mixed team at the 2020 Tokyo games held on July 23rd. With this, the national archery team has won a total of 103 medals, including 59 gold medals throughout international games since 1984. The archery team once again proved its ‘world’s most superior' skills all over the world.
Hyundai Motor Group has been supporting the Korean Archery Association since 1985. It is the longest-running sponsorship among any other sports association. In addition to hosting a number of international archery competitions, Hyundai Motor Group continues to provide technical support to improve the national players' records by not only qualifying bows and arrows but also providing optimized equipment for each player.
Furthermore, Hyundai Motor Group tried to contribute to the expansion of the golden myth by providing training equipment with cutting-edge IT technology for the national team at the 2020 Tokyo games. Let's take a look at the advanced technologies Hyundai Motor Group provided and how these technologies could have a positive impact on their records.
The first technology provided by Hyundai Motor Group is an automatic scorekeeper. This device houses a wire/wireless transmitter that sends the accumulated data using the laser sensor to the computer server, and it lets the national athletes utilize the big data. The four laser sensors installed on the target precisely analyze the arrows for not just the scores but even the direction of the arrow tips. In addition, the score and how the target is hit are displayed on the LED screen below the target, so that the information necessary for the athlete can be easily seen even from far away.
In the meantime, Hyundai Motor Group has improved the arrow recognition logic and game software of the automatic scorekeeper, and the company also made it compatible with the official scoreboard of the Korea Archery Association. In addition, after enhancing the system for rainy days, this device was first used for training national team athletes in special matches held in May and June to prepare them for the Tokyo games.
Although archers shoot hundreds of arrows a day, only the data from once or twice a week gets to be recorded. The automatic scorekeeper allows players to store accurate data every time they practice, and it analyzes data such as video recordings of the movements and heart rate measured by vision technology to create the best environment for the archers. The advantages of big data - the fact that more data brings more benefits - can be now used for archery as well.
The second new technology is a 'Vision-based heart rate measurement'. This is a technology that measures the level of tension and relaxation of the player in real-time by analyzing the player's face by units of frames (the smallest unit of the video). It utilizes the fact that the heart rate determines slight color changes of the face. Although there are slight differences in the usage, it is as the 'Driver State Warning System' applied to the car uses vision-based recognition technology to recognize the driver's iris and face for the driver’s safety.
The vision technology of Hyundai Motor Group can not only measure the heart rate of athletes at close range (within 3 meters) using a common web camera but also at a distance of 100m or more using a zoom camera. It also does not distract the athlete as it can monitor the athletes' condition without attaching an additional device to the athlete's body. This vision-based heart rate measurement can therefore help athletes during practices with recognizing their own level of stress, hence the valuable data used for enhancing their focus at the actual game. Hyundai Motor Group is additionally developing a vision technology that can recognize various biometric information such as heart rate, respiration rate, and even minute shivering of their face.
The vision-based heart rate measurement was officially applied for the first time in February at an event held for athletes whose rank is higher than 8th place in the country. In the following special match held in May and June, just before the Tokyo games, the heart rate was displayed on a large screen so that the audience can see how nervous the athletes are during the actual match. The players who participated in the special match also said that the system gave them a certain amount of tension as if they are in an actual match.
The third technology newly provided by Hyundai Motor Group is an artificial intelligence (AI) coach that incorporates deep learning artificial intelligence vision technology. Previously, the professional archers had to make separate videos of an archery posture during training or competitions and videos of an arrow hitting a target and compare the two, to analyze the athlete's posture and weaknesses. For this reason, it required a lot of manpower and time to compare and analyze each footage. The AI coach provides automatic editing of the video of the archer and the target to combine them into one. This not only reduces the effort to edit the videos but also allows players and coaches to easily analyze their habits and weaknesses through the edited video.
In addition, Hyundai Motor Group provided a customized meditation technique for each player based on the opinions of psychologists, national team coaches, and coaches at the Korea Institute of Sport Science. Since archery is a sport that requires high level of concentration in every second it takes, there was a concern regarding the necessity of mental training of athletes. It is clear that the concentration of the athletes who honed their minds with the meditation solution gathered to achieve the goal for the gold medal.
In addition, Hyundai Motor Group plans to improve the previously provided technologies and continue to provide them to the national archery team. At the 2016 Rio games, the company provided a high-precision shooting machine that inspects arrows and sorts out bad arrows, a 3D grip (handle) optimized for each athlete, and non-destructive testing techniques for a bow that analyzes damage to the inside of the bow that is difficult to see with naked eyes.
Speaking of non-destructive testing techniques for a bow, they used the Hyundai Motor Group's advanced 3D CT equipment for the development of a new model that analyzes certain parts. It is a technology that measures whether there is any damage inside the bow that is repeatedly pulled by creating a 3D model image from tens of thousands of photos taken while rotating the bow 360° through 3D CT scanning. Last year, the company also provided equipment that precisely measures the elasticity and weight of arrows so that they can be easily used for training.
The high-precision shooting machine was newly developed with specifications with better performance. The new high-precision shooting machine is designed to remain anchored to the floor even after multiple arrows have been fired. This is because the recoil generated when an arrow is shot with a strong force can slightly change the angle of the machine, which can affect the process of sorting out bad arrows. This improved the accuracy enough to hit the arrow twice at the same point on the target when fired from a distance of 70 meters, just like the actual games.
In addition, the latest touch screen User-Interface (UI) was implemented for convenience, and a precision actuator controlled by a high-performance computer was applied so that the bowstring could be pulled with the same force. Another new feature is a high-performance camera for checking exactly where the arrow hit the target from a distance that is difficult to see with the naked eye.
The 3D grip, which is made according to the shape of the hand that is different for each player, has also been upgraded. Unlike before, when only synthetic resin materials were used, various materials were provided so that players could freely choose according to their preferences. This is to prepare for the possibility of making the mistake of slipping the bow due to sweat on the palms of the hands during the game, which requires concentration at every moment.
The new materials provided by Hyundai Motor Group are a heat-resistant resin that can be quickly customized, PA12 (a new material for 3D printers developed by HP) that is durable but takes longer to manufacture, aluminide (aluminum and polyamide mixture), and solid wood and urethane for better grip. In fact, it is known that Jin-Hyuk Oh and Woo-Jin Kim in the Korean national team showed huge interest in 3D grip. As a result of testing by several athletes, anodized material among 3D grips of various materials was recognized for its excellent usability and was used as the main grip for the Tokyo games.
It is clear why the Hyundai Motor Group has continued to carry out these technical support projects; The goal is to go beyond simply sponsoring the Korean Archery Association, and to actually help improve the skills of the players by providing the cutting-edge technology possessed by the Hyundai Motor Group. In addition, it was an opportunity for Korean archery players, who possess the world's best skills, to use Hyundai Motor Group's technology directly, verifying the technology and enhancing the level of perfection. This is a step towards the vision of Hyundai Motor Group, which is moving forward for a better life for mankind.
In the future, Hyundai Motor Group plans to develop technologies to support the passion and effort of archery players by utilizing various advanced technologies, such as image analysis and non-contact measurement technology using long-distance sensors. Let's look forward to the further collaboration between the hard-working Korean national archery players and Hyundai Motor Group for the next Tokyo individual archery events, to keep the world championship titles.
Photography by Yoon-Sik Kim
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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