Can you imagine what it feels like to ride a bull? We're not nearly brave enough to give it a shot, so we did the next best thing to understand the experience. We placed sensors on a bull during a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) competition. Our motion sensing solution was put to the ultimate test as we took on the challenge of capturing the dynamic movement of the world’s most powerful bulls.
This past weekend, we traveled down to Uncasville, CT for a PBR Built Ford Tough Series event. Over two days, we placed Shimmer’s Kinematic Sensor on a bull for 17 different rides and on a rider for 5 different rides. For each ride, we captured 500 data points per second from the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. The data was streamed in real time to our PC where we calculated G-force and rotational velocity of the bull’s kick, spin and belly roll.
The power of the bull is almost unimaginable. We had the opportunity to place a sensor on the #2 bull in the world, Asteroid (see image). Asteroid clocked an incredible 2,300 revolutions per minute (RPMs) on his first kick out of the chute. Our scale went up to 2,000 RPMs initially, so this was literally off the charts. A 1,500 pound bull moving at that rate creates an enormous amount of power! It’s no surprise that the ride was over in just 2.86 seconds.
The fun is really just beginning for us. We collected over 1 gigabyte of data as well as video of each of the rides where sensors were placed. Over the next few days we will synch the data to the video and dig deeper to uncover additional insight. Stay tuned for additional posts in the weeks to come!
One of our top priorities is a meter that displays the power/intensity of the bull in real time. If applied to a video broadcast, we think this could revolutionize the viewing experience by giving fans a better appreciation for what the rider is going through. Beyond fan applications, we think there are tremendous opportunities in providing analytics to riders, TV analysts and judges.
What a great weekend! If you get a chance to go to a PBR event, you should check it out. It’s amazing to see firsthand the awesome power of the bulls and athleticism of the riders. Not only that, PBR puts on a great show with funny skits between rides, pyrotechnics, music, etc. We owe a huge thanks to the PBR team that made us feel so welcome throughout the event. These are some of the nicest, most professional people we have worked with.