Measuring the Intensity of Slam Dunks… BOOMSHAKALA!

June 25, 2009

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This latest installment of Sweet Apps comes from Clemson University. We first got wind of this from a story on PhysOrg.com (and was subsequently covered by Engadget).

It’s what would happen if Shaquille O’Neil and Sir Isaac Newton friended each other on Facebook:

A Clemson-student chapter of the Structural Engineers Association, led by professor Scott Schiff, collaborated with the Clemson Athletic Department to create measurement and analysis system that rates the intensity of slam dunks made by the Clemson basketball team. The system essentially takes measurements from accelerometers placed on the basketball hoop and turns that data into a slam dunk meter that is then displayed on the Clemson jumbotron. Talk about structural health monitoring, huh?

The slam dunks measured by the system peak around 30 g’s. Compare that to the typical 5 g’s you’d experience on a roller coaster and you get an idea of the magnitude of force these superstars dunk with.

Oh yeah, and the students used LabVIEW to acquire and display the data. Check out the video and you’ll see the screen shots of their front panel. Booya!

Side note: In writing this blog post, I was compelled to include the following picture, as it reminded me of Morgan’s post on talking elephants.

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Who knew they could shoot some hoops as well? And just think of the intensity of Dumbo’s slam dunk. Through the roof!

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