Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

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PostedFebruary 1, 2009

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Randy Atkins: Priya Narasimhan, a Carnegie Mellon engineer, is rigging footballs with small acceleration-measuring devices and G-P-S technology…hoping to instantly pinpoint the ball’s 3-D location at all times, even under a pile of beefy players.

Priya Narasimhan: We’d be able to say, the ball stopped its forward progress at such and such a yard line – exactly.

Randy Atkins: Fixed G-P-S receivers would be installed in stadiums to ensure precise tracking, even as the ball spirals through the air.

Priya Narasimhan: If you rely on satellite-based GPS, it’s a question of “now you see it, now you don’t” as the ball is spinning around.

Randy Atkins: Narasimhan says the biggest challenge is maintaining the ball’s weight and rotation, but she hopes to have a model to show the N-F-L by next season.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103 point 5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.


The lab is also equipping gloves with remote-sensing technology.



  • The Carnegie Mellon site for football engineering.