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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

‘Aggies Invent’ solutions to sports problems

Junior+Will+Davis+%28left%29+and+senior+Sid+Regmi+participate+in+Aggies+Invent.
Photo by Kathryn Perez

Junior Will Davis (left) and senior Sid Regmi participate in Aggies Invent.

Concussions, dehydration and inefficient training — 50 student participants were given just 48 hours this weekend to engineer solutions to these sports problems and more.
The theme for this Aggies Invent was to address problems in the sports world through engineering. Aggies Invent is a hardware “hackathon” offered at the Engineering Innovation Center, EIC.

Rodney Bohem, Director of Aggies Invent, said the theme of the competition was picked for its relevance to students.

“A&M has a tremendous health & kinesiology research program,” said Bohem.  “We also have a tremendous athletic program and so sports as a theme for Aggies Invent seemed like a natural fit.”
The event saw about 50 multidisciplinary students compete for cash awards. Previous Aggies Invent weekends have included building solutions for first responders, pediatric medical devices, 3-D printing in space and social entrepreneurship.
Students formed teams at the venue on Friday after choosing a particular problem statement on the sports theme to work on. James Wilson, Engineering Innovation Center facility manager, said students answered a diverse sets of sports-related problems with high-quality prototypes.
“One of our problems came from a professional baseball team,” Wilson said. “We have students designing heated gloves and socks for cold conditions, helmets to reduce the risk of concussion, autonomous drones to monitor athlete training, autonomous drink serving carts, etcetera. Compared to the previous Aggies Invents, the prototypes are quite advanced in this edition.”
The winning team was “Pocket trainer,” which built a device to sense the range and speed of motion
Another projects included a prototype that continuously monitors human hydration levels during competition.
Alan Curtis, an engineering freshman who helped design this device, said most trainers don’t know if their players are dehydrated, making practical methods of measuring dehydration such as the device they built necessary.
“We wanted to understand how fluid loss affects performance, so we are building a device that gives us a bunch of data such as salinity and rate of sweat, elasticity of the muscle,” Curtis said. “We want to prescribe the course of action for the athlete during dehydration such as 8 fluid ounces of Gatorade or 10 fluid ounces of water.”
Anthony Mendez, a mechanical engineering sophomore, said his team worked on technology to help athletes avoid injury.
“We are creating technology that can detect muscle actions like an electromyogram,” Mendez said. “We integrated accelerometers and pressure sensors into it to get real time muscle data so that athletes or people in therapy can use their muscles in a right and balanced way.”
Students were aided by mentors and volunteers from Texas A&M and facilities inside the EIC. Rodney Bohem, director of Aggies Invent, said organizers are looking to expand the scope of Aggies Invent in the future after the encouraging responses they received from the event.

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