MACLoC is the acronym for Multi-Axis Climbing Load Cells for performance analysis in sport climbing, a team of researchers and students from Turin and Milan Polytechnic Universities. Together with HBM, the project group developed the prototype for a new type of “intelligent” climbing wall, which has been registered with the European Patent Office. Combining multi-axis force transducers and a QuantumX data acquisition system, the wall provides climbers with real-time information on their contact forces and the center of their mass. These valuable insights into the mechanics of climbing allow rapid technical improvements in a highly complex and growing field of sports.
View of the multi-axis force transducer within the wall hold
The measurement chain
MACLoC (Multi-Axis Climbing Load Cells) was a project at Alta Scuola Politecnica in the framework of the 12th edition of A&T- Automation and Testing Trade Fair in Turin, Italy. Led by professors Raffaella Sesana and Daniela Maffiodo (both DIMEAS, Turin Polytechnic University) as well as Alessandro Colombo (DEIB, Milan Polytechnic University), a group of 8 students developed a technology-based approach to climbing. The sport was chosen due to its growing popularity as well as its complexity. Measurement of the contact forces and calculation of the centre of mass helps with the understanding of the mechanics of climbing, thus allows a faster optimization of technique and training sessions.