2021:Innovation Challenge

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1511 FIT-Net Image of Innovation.jpg

Our Design: The FIT-Net

The Fitness Inspired by Technology Net is the accessible, adjustable multi-sport net for people of all abilities!

Award Won: Semi-Finalist Award

What is the FIT-Net?

The FIT-Net uses technology to make inclusive play possible - it's accessible and adjustable at the push of a button, and can be used for multiple sports! It allows people, regardless of size, ability or skill level, to play together promoting better physical and mental well-being. FIT-Net features:

  • Adjustable height to accommodate people of all sizes and skill levels
  • Pre-set heights for multi-sport use: volleyball, tennis, pickleball and badminton
  • Audible tone sounds when ball/birdie crosses the net
  • FIT-App for iOS/Android - Selections for net options
  • Colorful LED lights provide visual input for those with limited vision, difficulty tracking the ball/birdie, or attentional challenges
  • Easy set up, disassembly and transport
  • Compact storage to prevent net tangling
  • Cost-effective solution to buying multiple net systems for different sports
  • Battery power allows for freedom to easily move net
  • User friendly and customizable net to fit YOUR needs

The Problem the FIT-Net Solves:

Sports nets designed for people of all ages and abilities are not inclusive, accessible, affordable, or easy to operate. Net sports (volleyball, tennis, badminton, etc.) present many challenges for participants; net height, tracking the ball/birdie, players focusing on the ball/birdie, ease of storage/transportation/setup of the net. One size equipment doesn’t fit all.

Physical and mental health are negatively impacted when people cannot participate together. When people with different abilities are unable to play with others, they may become discouraged and reluctant to join. As a result, physical activity is limited, skill development is not built through repetitive practice, and social interaction with peers is reduced. Speciality nets created specifically for those with different abilities end up making players feel more isolated because they’re not designed to be inclusive.

Existing adaptive nets are expensive, not safe and/or durable. That weakened durability causes customers to purchase new nets due to a lack of replacement parts. It is costly for facilities to buy different nets for each sport or adapt existing equipment. Other adjustable nets are not mechanized for easy use and storage. Nets tangle easily which is another problem for storage and may cause damage requiring replacement.

Technology Involved in the Design

Our FIT-Net was designed using Autodesk Inventor. We’ll use a motorized pulley system to raise/lower the net to the appropriate height. This system is driven by a microcomputer and will draw power from a battery in the base of the pole. The net will feature LED indicator lights across the upper and lower edges of the net. The lights are connected to the microcomputer and run by the battery. A speaker at the base of the structure will provide audio feedback based on tripped optical sensors. For maneuverability, wheels, lightweight materials, and collapsible features will be implemented.