Like every other field of life, sports are also benefitting a lot from today’s technological advancements. State of the art training equipment has given a new dimension to today’s sport and that is the reason, sportsmen today can excel as much as they never did in the past. One such technological innovation is simulators. As the Paralympic games are drawing near, the athletes are working hard to polish their skills. This year, like many other sports, the wheelchair racing is also expected to get benefit from simulators, the wheelchair Paralympic racers are ready to excel with the help of simulators!
Paralympic games are held right after Olympics and on the same venues. This time, Paralympics are coming in September at Rio. The wheelchair racers preparing for Rio Paralympics can now train indoor with the help of an efficient simulator created for extensive training. This simulator is called Wheelchair Athlete Test and Training (WATT) System and it is designed by engineers of BAE Systems for British wheelchair athletes.
It works a bit like treadmill as it keeps the wheelchair in the place while the athlete can move the pedals. However, it is much more advanced than an ordinary treadmill. The WATT can efficiently simulate the courses around the world. These courses are shown on a screen as the athlete pedals on. Not only that, the adjustable frame of this simulator is fitted with a couple of electric motor brakes. This frame not only keeps the wheelchair in its place, but also creates different resistance for different courses around the world so that the athlete can totally anticipate what he is going to experience actually when he hits the ground with his wheelchair.
Not only does WATT System allow the athletes to monitor and compete with their own speed and pushing power every time, one of its greatest advantages is that it even allows them to compete with other athletes around the world through an online leaderboard. And not only that, the system can even predict how an athlete will perform in the future on different courses. Besides this, there are chances that the WATT System would get even better in the future as the designers plan to equip it with Virtual Reality technology making it even more accurate.
WATT System has given a new dimension to wheelchair racing and made it possible for the athletes to practice in as close to the real circumstances as possible before they actually hit those grounds with their wheelchairs in future. It has freed the athletes of the weather restrictions outdoor and allowed them to practice indoor. The system is on display now and can be seen at Farnborough International Airshow.