University of Kansas football coaches see plays from the bird’s eye view of a drone

ku adds football drones 57669387 ml
Leonid Eremeychuk / 123RF
The quarterback has a left tackle to protect his blind side — and now the coaches at the University of Kansas (KU) have drones to protect theirs. This year, the program added four camera-equipped drones to cover the practice field, giving the coaches a way to view plays that would otherwise be tough to analyze with traditional stationary cameras.

The drones, four DJI Phantom 4s, joined the roster after Jeff Love was hired as the director of football technology. Used only during practices, the drone cameras record special teams as well as seven-on-seven and other elements of the team’s practice.

“As a receivers coach, I can see, ‘Where does the DB’s leverage start? Do I stem him correctly? Am I leaning in or our of the route on time?’” Love told the Lawrence Journal-World. “With the high sideline camera, you can’t really see, ‘Is he sticking his foot out at the right spot? Has he attacked the angle with leverage yet?’ This gives them the ability to see that.”

Love controls the drones himself, using an iPad to get a live view of the play from the air. After practice, the footage is available to the rest of coaching staff — mixed with the more traditional footage from stationary cameras on the sideline and in the end zone. While the typical sideline and end zone cameras aren’t going anywhere, Love said that the aerial footage is proving to be the most precise.

The aerial replay is also proving useful for the team’s quarterbacks, with the higher perspective making the defensive formations easier to recognize. Seeing the bird’s-eye view after practice is helping to teach the players how to recognize not just the defensive formations, but where the weak areas are.

The new team of drones gives the coaches a new viewpoint — but not for every play. The defense doesn’t get quite the same view, since the drones tend to stay around 20 yards behind the offense — lest they get taken out by a pass.

Giveaways

Enter our giveaway to get a free, limited-edition Star Wars-inspired parka

It's giveaway time! This week we're giving away a limited-edition Star Wars Empire Crew Parka. The jacket is an exact replica of what Lucas and his team wore while filming on the Hardangerjokulen Glacier in Norway back in 1979.
Gaming

Start your engines: ‘CTR: Crash Team Racing’ remaster is probably coming

CTR: Crash Team Racing, Sony's original answer to Mario Kart, seems to be getting remastered for current generation consoles. An announcement is planned for The Game Awards and comes on the heels of the Crash N. Sane Trilogy.
Emerging Tech

Only three people have explored the deep oceans. Meet the next two

In a new mission called Five Deeps, a team of explorers will brave the inhospitable depths of the world’s oceans, observing, mapping, and collecting samples along the way. The explorers aim to traverse 40,000 nautical miles over the…
Gaming

Here’s the low down on how ‘Pokémon Go’ trainer battles and PVP work

Pokémon Go will be getting new trainer battle features this month that include three leagues, 3 vs. 3 combat, and the ability for players to challenge nearby opponents, long-distance friends, and even train with Team Leader A.I.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.