TrojanTrack could revolutionise racehorse monitoring and help prevent injury by early detection of injury using mimimal equipment. Developed in Ireland by Stephen O’Dwyer the company are now seeking to partner with racing yards to conduct user trials.
HS (Helen Sharp): What does TrojanTrack do and how will it work for the individual trainer, why would they buy it?
SD (Stephen O’Dwyer): TrojanTrack will provide quick and accurate biomechanical analysis on racehorses using just a smartphone camera and tripod, without the need for any wearable technology. It will aid trainers in their daily subjective routine of monitoring their herd for any imbalances or injuries.
Having the data collection happen using just a smartphone, camera and tripod allows large herds of horses to be analysed in the time it takes to walk them by the camera, leading to more consistent feedback and earlier injury detection. Due to its proactive measures, the monetary value of this technology is unparalleled, saving the owners and trainers money on prize money, resale value and future stud value.
HS: How did you spot the need for the technology?
SD: Growing up I always had a passion for horse racing. I have been going since I could barely walk, and I’ve always held horses in the same regard as sportspeople. With racehorses travelling at such high speeds and weighing so much, the forces that are going through their legs at this speed are monumental, and like a racing car with bad tyres, any imbalances could be catastrophic.
Throughout my biomedical engineering degree, I focused a lot of my research-based projects on the equine industry, as I knew it was an area that was lacking in technology at that stage. Through this, I began to discover the different pain points in the different facets of the industry and focused my time and efforts on the injury prevention side of the equine industry.
We are at the crossroads of many advancements in different industries. Deep learning has opened the doors to many technological advancements such as facial recognition and self-driving cars and is still being developed year-on-year to become more accurate and more reliable. In the racehorse industry, a huge emphasis has been placed on horse welfare in the past few years. Every effort has been made to ensure horses are safe in all areas, and technology has begun to become the forefront of this.
HS: When will TrojanTrack become available?
SD: We are hoping to have TrojanTrack as a commercial product in Ireland by early 2023, using Ireland as the ideal domain to test the technology before global export. This will be done through free user trials in exchange for valuable feedback around the product. This timeline is dependent on user trials, key hires, and investment in the coming months.
HS: There are other gait analysing devices, what makes your different?
SD: Multiple companies around the world do some sort of biomechanical analysis on the horse, however, a common theme for all of them is that they are done with either wearable sensors or with infrared cameras and trackers attached to the horse. All these companies either require a staff member on-site to collect the data or for the horse to be brought to their laboratory. This process of attaching something to a horse is time-consuming, expensive, invasive, and not feasible for daily monitoring in busy yards.
What sets TrojanTrack’s technology apart is that it only uses a high-quality, high frame rate camera (latest smartphone models) and a tripod to gather the data needed, and uses a pre-trained Neural Network to detect the desired points on the horse. This allows much faster data collection, which is more feasible in a busy yard with many horses.
The product explainer video can either be found on the TrojanTack homepage at https://www.trojantrack.ie/ or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGbKDX87vmaTctVl4NgJxug
TrojanTrack are looking to partner with racing yards to conduct user trials.You can contact TrojanTrack via their website. TrojanTrack also have multiple openings on the Work With Us page at: www.trojantrack.ie