A racquet that makes quite the racket.
Conventional wisdom says that tennis players grunt because it helps them apply the maximal force when they strike the ball. However, don’t be fooled, these noises are totally unnecessary and downright annoying. In fact, there are top names in the game like Maria Sharapova whose screams routinely top 100 decibels. This has led many, including the legendary Martina Navratilova, to call into question whether or not the behavior is actually a form of cheating.
Cognizant of this, Maker Seiya Kobayashi has come up with a hilarious solution for this problem: a racquet that does the grunting for you. You simply select one of four notable noisemakers — Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal — and the aptly named Grunting Racket will take care of the rest.
This allows you to focus on your footwork and hitting the ball, while the combination of an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328), an accelerometer and speaker emits the obnoxious sounds. Additional components include a LiPo battery, an Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board and a button on the grip that lets you choose the player. These electronics are all housed inside the racquet’s handle. Kobayashi employed both Arduino and Processing sketches along the way to prototype his idea.
How it works is fairly simple: When a value from the accelerometer exceeds a particular threshold, the sound board will play one of the four tones. You can see (and hear) it action below!
[s/o to fellow tennis players Artie Beavis and David Scheltema]