Tin Can Robot


SportVU is a new sports data collection service that will track players as they shoot, pass and run around on the court.

Their system captures the X/Y coordinates of all the players and refs–along with the X/Y/Z (3-D) coordinates of the ball–25 times every second (or 72,000 times a game). Algorithms take into account all sorts of variables to keep the system accurate, from the lines on the court to the reflections of flashing billboards. Another layer of software at a central server puts this raw data together into something meaningful. Information as specific as player ball touches and dribbles can be calculated within 60 seconds of being spotted by SportVU cams.

The system was developed by an Israeli company that adapted it from missile tracking technology and then applied it for use on the soccer pitch.  Giant statistics company Stats purchased the company and adapted it to be used in NBA arenas,  Currently, only 10 of the 30 NBA teams are using the technology.