Analysis of Racing Greyhound Path Following Dynamics Using a Tracking System

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Animals, 2021, 11, (9), pp. 2687-2687
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has been working closely with the Australasian greyhound industry for more than 5 years to reduce greyhound race-related injuries. During this period, UTS has developed and deployed several different techniques including inertial measurement units, drones, high-frame-rate cameras, track geometric surveys, paw print analysis, track soil spring-force analysis, track maintenance data, race injury data, race computer simulation and modelling to assist in this task. During the period where the UTS recommendations have been adopted, the injury rate has dropped significantly. This has been achieved by animal welfare interventions that lower racing congestion, and lower transient forces and jerk rates the greyhounds experience during a race. This study investigated the use of a greyhound location tracing system where small and lightweight signal emitting devices were placed inside a pocket in the jackets of racing greyhounds. The system deployed an enhanced version of a player tracking system currently used to track the motion of human athletes. Greyhounds gallop at speeds of almost 20 m/s and are known to change their heading direction to exceed a yaw rate of 0.4 rad/s. The high magnitudes of velocity, acceleration and jerk posed significant technical challenges, as the greyhounds pushed the human tracking system beyond its original design limits. Clean race data gathered over a six-month period were analysed and presented for a typical 2-turn greyhound racing track. The data confirmed that on average, greyhounds ran along a path that resulted in the least energy wastage, which includes smooth non-linear paths that resemble easement curves at the transition between the straights to the semi-circular bends. This study also verified that the maximum jerk levels greyhounds experienced while racing were lower than the jerk levels that had been predicted with simulations and modelling for the track path. Furthermore, the results from this study show the possibility of such a systems deployment in data gathering in similar settings to greyhound racing such as thoroughbred and harness horse racing for understanding biomechanical kinematic performance.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: