A new electronic horse whip that can help allay growing criticisms of cruelty to animals in horseracing has been developed using MATLAB, The Mathworks' technical computing language and environment. 'The Register' was invented by Dublin bookmaker Reg Cregan to set a measurable standard for jockeys by recording the force and frequency of its use during a race.
The whip uses proprietary sensors in its tip to accurately measure each blow and an 8-bit Motorola microcontroller in its handle to record the data. MATLAB was used to read the electronic signals generated by the whip and process this data either in realtime or post-acquisition. This involved recording all waveforms resulting from use of the whip, storing the time and amplitude of the waveform pattern and graphically displaying this data on screen.
This process offers the authorities a comprehensive solution to the issue of whip use by providing racecourse stewards with accurate feedback immediately after every race.
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