Have you ever wished you could run faster and jump higher? A new device, created by two University of Hartford students, may help you do just that. The LIFT (Leg-worn Impact Force-sensing Technology) tracks and analyzes athletic performance in real-time. When placed in jumpers’ and runners’ shoes it measures how their feet strike the ground. Watch the developers’ story:
Looking at the LIFT data in real time allows athletes to immediately measure the position and force of each foot when it strikes the ground. With this knowledge, coaches can customize an individual athlete’s training exercises. “This data allows us to build a jump program that is top notch,” says Richard Warren, head coach of Track and Field and Cross Country at the University of Hartford.
Joshua Breighner ‘18, a prosthetics and orthotics major, and Garrett Brown ‘18, a physical therapy major, started working on LIFT during their first year in the University’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. With a mutual passion for track and field, the two friends started filming each other’s running performance with a GoPro. Unsatisfied with what they learned from the videos, they turned to Assistant Professor of Prosthetics and Orthotics Michael Wininger and Coach Warren for help creating the device.
Joshua and Garrett learned how to program and create sensors for LIFT by working with students and professors in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. “Joshua and Garrett have gotten experience that is unlike most others in their chosen field of study,” says Wininger. “When they interview for jobs they will have a demonstrable product and a great story to tell,” he adds.
Moving forward, the plan is to perfect the device and collect new data on the Track and Field team to help analyze athletes’ performance. “The goal is to improve athletic function. We want to take the device not only to jumpers but athletes in general,” says Joshua.