Sports Safety: An Engineer's View On Basketball Training Equipment
by Adam Pan, on Aug 5, 2015 7:47:36 AM
There has been a lot of emphasis on safety in the sports world today. Ranging from proper recovery after practice to concussion prevention. These are incredibly important, but have you ever asked yourself... “Is the basketball training equipment that my athletes train on safe”?
It sounds funny at first, because we all assume that the products we buy will be the gold standard of "safe." I mean, everything we purchase should be safe right? The truth is, safety can often go under the radar with both coaches and manufacturers alike.
As one of the principle engineers of the Dr. Dish, one of my main goals was to make sure the new Dr. Dish was as safe as possible. Safe is a general term, so just how do you measure safety of a product as unique as a Shooting Machine, when even the name sounds unsafe. Fortunately for me, there are standards in the industry that help point engineers, like myself, in the right direction.
When designing the electronic system of the Dr. Dish, it was important to me that the electronics we used weren't going to shock you or set your gym on fire. This is why we adhere to the standards of Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and European Conformity (CE), which ensures the risk of being shocked and starting a fire is as minimal as possible.
Taking into consideration that the primary users of a shooting machine would be young athletes, it was important that there be limited openings to the mechanics of the machine. We designed the Dr. Dish to avoid any pinch and crush points. This focus was guided by the guidelines of the American Society for Testing and Materials standards (ASTM); an organization that sets guidelines on how to limit the user from injury. The best example of how we accomplished this was by having the ball enter and exit from the same opening in the machine. This greatly limits the amount of exposure someone can have to any of the mechanical components.
One aspect that is unique to the Dr. Dish that I believe greatly improves the safety, is the fact that the ball is visible to the player at all times. This means the athlete has more time to react to the pass, much like a real game situation. To further alert the player of an incoming pass, we designed a pre-launch audible and visual alert. These features help ensure that the user can not only see, but also hear that a pass is incoming.
Ensuring that the Dr. Dish is safe has become something that takes on deep importance for me. I recently became a father and I know that these machines will be used by athletes of all ages for many years to come. Throughout the whole process of creating the Dr. Dish I thought to myself, “would I want my daughter to use this machine?” I’m proud to say that, as an engineer and father, I created a shooting machine that is safe and will provide peace of mind for players, coaches and parents alike.
Click below if you have more questions about Dr. Dish Basketball Shooting Machines: