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David Seaman Helps Researchers take Goalkeeping Into Space Age

David Seaman helps in the glove design
David Seaman helps in the glove design

Originally Published 9 October 1998

Warwick Manufacturing Group (part of the University of Warwick) has joined forces with Umbro International to create the most technologically advanced goalkeeping glove ever for England and Arsenal goalkeeper, David Seaman.

Technology more commonly used to design and build BMW cars and Rolls Royce aeroengines has been adapted for sport product design. The researchers on the glove project, led by Vinesh Raja, (Principal Research Fellow at Warwick Manufacturing Group), have been working with Umbro’s own Research and Design team to create a groundbreaking new process, which streamlines both the way gloves can be made and the way they will perform on the pitch.

The design begins with a Wicks and Wilson optical scanning device, which captures all the data necessary to produce a 3-D computer model of the hand. This image is then processed using a reverse engineering technique that analyses the millions of data points quicker and more accurately than ever before. Warwick Manufacturing Group’s new technology means that the whole design process is speeded up, with gloves that exactly fits the hand.

The glove, which is being designed for David Seaman using this technology, is currently at prototype stage and will probably be released in the year 2001. Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, Director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, said:

"We are delighted to be working with Umbro on glove technology. The advanced manufacturing techniques that we have developed here have applications in many sectors of industry. Customers have the right to expect the best. We are working with companies around the world to ensure that they have the skills and the technology to meet that expectation."

Tony Wicks, Chairman of Wicks and Wilson said :-

"We are very excited that our 3D capture system has been used to produce gloves that will help England's top goalkeeper. This shows how advanced engineering technology can be harnessed to produce a wide variety of products. This is an example of how the ability to capture 3D objects quickly and accurately opens up new opportunities."

Martin Prothero, Director of Sports Marketing at Umbro, added:

"We’re very excited by the technological possibilities opened up to us by our partnership with the Warwick Manufacturing Group. Umbro is determined to remain at the forefront of new technology in all our products and it’s particularly pleasing that the prototype design for this glove is being created with the help of England’s top goalkeeper.”

For further information contact:

Vinesh Raja
tel: 024 76 523924

Note for Editors:

Since opening in 1980, the Warwick Manufacturing Group, part of the University of Warwick, has worked with its partners to give them the technology and skills to succeed in competitive global markets. WMG has education and research partnerships with over 500 organisations. Over 20,000 managers have benefited from WMG's programmes.

The images are captured using a Wicks and Wilson TriForm optical scanner which creates a cloud of millions of data points. The cloud of points is then analysed on a Sun Microsystems Ultra 60 workstation using Imageware reverse engineering software. This yields an image of the hand which can be used in conventional computer aided design applications or in virtual reality.

Further information about this press release and other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708