ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAEducation & Training

Objectives of the service

The project idea is to develop a sports game system established on haptic devices able to interact with high realism level in virtual reality scenarios.
The satellite data are used for the scenarios and to reproduce meteorological conditions in training and race.

It is also possible to add real life performaces, traced by GNNS technology, enabling competitions against champs or friends.

The service offers a haptic device for the practice of rowing on a canoe, with different types of rigs (ex.1, 2, 2 with, 4, 4 with, 8) connected to an immersive visual environment (cube or VR headsets) that connect the device and its movements within a selected scenario in which the rig moves coherently with the rowing movements impressed and returning the resistance to the oar as if it were immersed in water and projecting the canoe’s movement in a realistic scenario by using the coordinates of the satellite maps.

 The system is connected via internet to a multiplayer platform capable of managing the whole functioning logic for any player connected remotely both with a rowing device of the same type and - for some functions (i.e. the rudder) - with simple gaming devices (mouse, joystick, keyboard) or other specifically projected devices for physically disable people. The platform is multi-language in order to involve students from different countries as well.

In addition, this sportive gaming system allows personal or group training sessions at every single school and offers the possibility to manage challenges remotely between different schools in rivers or water basins represented virtually, present throughout Europe.

The System can be inclusive both by implementing handicap mechanisms - if the challenge is between schools or in any case crews with different levels of athletic training - and, for those unable to row, with specific appliances or with those normally available for the game, the active involvement for the functions of helmsman both in presence and remote.

The telemetry system can give users and physical education teachers useful elements for the best definition and control of a training process linked to muscle strengthening and physical well-being.

Users and their needs

Students and teachers of every school level represent the target users: The placing on the market of the product and service would be mainly oriented to schools but also to individuals and rowing companies interested in promoting rowing in schools. (

The platform allows students of different social classes, geographical areas and physical abilities and educational institutions without physical structures to interact, compare and compete on equal terms with each other.

Benefits of rowing: rowing trains all muscle groups, improves endurance and frees you from anxiety. It is in fact considered one of the most complete sports, because it mobilizes all the muscles. Just observe the rowers in action: shoulders, legs, back, abdomen, and lumbar muscles are urged to push, balance and steer the boat: 90% of the muscles are working. In addition, the specific movements promote muscle flexibility, agility and coordination. This sport is recommended above all to children, although it is an activity accessible to all, because it is a gradual and gentle discipline. The movements are practiced without shocks and therefore without the risk of joint trauma and learning is progressive, the intensity is adjusted and adapted to one's abilities.

Activity gains:

  • It has the Sport benefits of team sport but without contact. In fact, it trains coordination both at the individual user level and at the interpersonal level, improving knowledge and motor control of one's body and coordination with one's crewmates;

  • the presence of different roles (coxswain, stroke, sculler) and the modularity of the solution would ensure a wide possibility of involving even students with different degrees of disability or who cannot participate in the presence;

  • the ability to compete (either in the same team or as opponents) facilitates socialization;

  • the possibility of representing with visual and dynamic realism of different rowing basins throughout Europe, combined with the possibility of challenges between remote users, would allow a strong element of encounter and integration between all European students and the knowledge of the places and territories where competitions will take place.

Service/ system concept

The software architecture identified provides for the creation of separate modules / applications designed to manage the single components of the simulator.

The solution therefore provides for four macro-blocks, represented and described below:

  • Virtual Multiplayer Environment: Desktop application for Windows operating systems that represents the core of the system and the interface with the end user.

  • Shared Data Storage: Application module that allows you to manage users, useful and necessary information for the simulation and analysis of training results in a shared way.

  • Rowing Machine Controller: it includes all the software components that manage the sensors and actuators of the rowing machine, as well as the computation of the force feedback (for both the rudder and the rowing haptic interfaces), and the physical simulation of rowing.

  • Rowing Machine: it includes the hardware components (user interfaces, structural parts, transmission systems, actuators, sensors, and electronic boards) that are needed to allow the user to row or to drive the rudder.

  • GPS Data File: XML File that store GPS track

Space Added Value

Our considered asset is related to the GNSS system that allow us to collect and use in the systems recorded tracking of rowing training or competitives sessions; enabling competitions not only in live mode between remote users but also allowing competitions against live performances against recorded performances presented in VR by avatar’s crews. Also the scenes and weather conditions could be most realistic using data images and info coming from Satellite data provider.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 14 May 2024