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Alexander Wolfe
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Blogger
Hockey Robot Night in Canada
Alexander Wolfe   10/21/2011 12:05:02 PM
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What's the next step for these guys, eh? (Sorry, couldn't help adding that Canadianism.) They have customers for whom they do tests, but are there any plans to produce machines and sell them to the stick makers?

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Hockey Robot Night in Canada
Beth Stackpole   10/21/2011 12:46:48 PM
They actually aren't planning on selling the robots to stick manufacturers because they don't feel like that's the right business model. The robots are expensive and the manufacturers won't really use them enough to justify a capital expenditure, is what they told me. They are, however, offering the stick testing as a service to stick manufacturers and have several contracts already in play. I believe they are also working with partners on using the robot testing to explore innovative technologies like new materials and such to enhance stick performance.

TJ McDermott
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Blogger
Re: Hockey Robot Night in Canada
TJ McDermott   10/22/2011 12:04:13 AM
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I hope the next step is building more of these.  Not for testing, though.  For playing!  Robocup has little 'bots playing on a small field.  Two teams of these would put that to shame.  Heck, they're big enough to slap the soccer 'bots into the net.

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Hockey Robot Night in Canada
Beth Stackpole   10/24/2011 11:14:31 AM
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I'm sure if there's any kind of market for these, more will be built. And given the team's experience deploying similar robot technology for testing golf clubs, I'm sure they are on the prowl for more sports-related applications.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hockey Robot Night in Canada
jmiller   10/24/2011 10:58:26 PM
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I was wondering if these guys had any experience with golf club machines.  That's a great example where this type of technology is used all the time to help develop better clubs and balls.  I'm just a little surprised that there is not more of a market for these devices in the hockey market.  I suppose the average hockey stick doesn't cost as much as the $300 dollar driver.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Testing players and sticks
Tim   10/21/2011 10:26:05 PM
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This robot setup is great for teting sticks, but it also has high potential for working out goalies.  Rapid fire excercises help a goalies reflexes and their ability to stay on their toes. 

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Testing players and sticks
Tool_maker   10/25/2011 6:35:27 AM
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I would think the product liability costs would eat up any profit that could be made selling these to the public. Can you imagine the lawsuit if some over zealous coach overmatched his goalie by dialing this thing up to the next speed?

This is similar to a pitching machine, but the object here is to get in front of the puck. I think it would be easy to seriously injure a young hockey player by misjudging his/her ability and the speed of the puck.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Testing players and sticks
Beth Stackpole   10/25/2011 6:55:36 AM
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@Tool_Maker: I would have to agree that there is probably far too much liability to turn this into the "pitching machine" equivalent for hockey for the mainstream public. These machines deliver repeated slap shots of up to 110 mph. Professional hockey players might be primed to return these, but not the average Joe or even the avid hockey enthusiast.

@jmiller: You were right on to spot a correlation with this type of testing and what's used in golf clubs. The guys got their start doing testing on the golf equipment and that was the genesis for the idea for the hockey robot. As far as the cost of sticks go, they actually do sell for upwards of $300 so there is motivation to support testing that ensures the composite sticks don't break all that easily.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Composite Design or Robot Design? I got sidetracked
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/25/2011 9:13:00 AM
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First impression when digging into the article on optimizing composites for Hockey Sticks, was, “Gosh! the DOE fixture is going to be more of a design challenge than the actual composite design!” … and well; in fact, that’s where the article went.  Accordingly, following that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, the world now has a wonderful, proven method of repetitively testing new composite materials for hockey stick design.  This is what I call a game-changer.  (Beautiful Robot, BTW) Subsequently, I see the NHL experiencing a gradual increase in scoring statistics in the coming years, not unlike the steroid era of MLB in the ‘90s. But this time, in a good way.

dtalbot
User Rank
Iron
lots of sticks
dtalbot   10/24/2011 9:53:47 AM
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Sounds like there is scope for this sort of analysis in lots of sports - including what I call hockey (the summer olympic sport,  not the winter one).

gwf_fly
User Rank
Silver
Nice Try!
gwf_fly   10/25/2011 6:26:29 PM
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Your robot is a nice impact testor, but it is lacking in a few of the basics seen with the human slapshot!  There is no rotation through the impact zone - something that all players do to varying degrees.  Proof is seen with photos of slapshots that show the finish position of the toe of the blade.  A properly executed slapshot shows the toe pointing toward the target.  Your robot generates an open blade position, toe pointing 90 degrees away from the target - a no-no!  We found this out when constructing a robot back in the 90's!  Also, the "lower hand" is way too far up the shaft - also not typical of shooters!

 

Good luck!



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