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Title: The efficacy of a golf robot for simulating individual golfer's swings
Author: Harper, Thomas E.
Awarding Body: University of Loughborough
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2007
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Golf is one of the few games that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and its popularity has grown consistently to achieve the largest sports equipment turnover in both the UK and the USA; consequently, more effort has been expended on golf related research than any other sport. Significant increases in golf equipment performance have been achieved within the past few decades; which in turn, have brought about increased demands for high-technology, high-performance golf equipment. Golfers are used extensively by manufacturers during the testing and development of equipment, where player performances, opinions and perceptions are valued sources of information, however, golfers are inconsistent in performance and they tire. One method of overcoming these shortcomings has been the development of golf swing simulation devices or robots which have been used increasingly over the last four decades. These produce consistent repeatable swings and are now intrinsic instruments for the scientific study of golf by manufacturers, governing bodies and academic institutes alike. The capability of artificial devices to perform human dynamic motions is undoubtedly improving; however, comparatively little scientific effort has been invested to ensure that the swing motions provided by these mechanical devices are representative of golfers' swings. A three-dimensional kinematic study of golfers' swings was undertaken to determine joint positions representative of a double pendulum simplification of the swing and shaft deflection and ball launch data were recorded to permit comparison. A technique for generating golf robot swing commands from the kinematic swing data was developed using interpolation algorithms that ensured the desired number of command joint positions and increased the continuity of the command position derivatives. The swing motions of six golfers with distinctive swing performance characteristics were replicated using a commercially available golf robot with independent axes control and a bespoke modified motion control system. The research has shown that the new robot control system in conjunction with 3D kinematic swing data enables individual golfers' swings to be replicated with both high levels of accuracy and repeatability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available