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Asian Games in Hangzhou Gave Us a Glimpse Into the Future

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Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium - Venue of Asian Games 2022

Organizers of the Asian Games in Hangzhou made it their mission to fuse the digital and real world. They wanted to give viewers and athletes a portal into the future, where people will become increasingly fused with technology.

Digital technology was a cornerstone of the multi-sport event as Chinese organizers wanted to host the very first “smart” Asian Games. They didn’t disappoint with everything from robot dogs to driverless vehicles to artificial intelligence being on display.

Alibaba Group Played a Key Role at the Asian Games in China

The Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba Group ensured that the Asian Games in Hangzhou was run using cloud computing. Xu Weihua, director in charge of the information technology command center for Hangzhou 2022, said that this was the first Asian Games to implement this technology. 

Xu said, “Perhaps the area in which we can see technology making the biggest difference is in carrying out the Games. This is the first ‘cloud Asian Games’ where 100 percent of the core system is supported by a cloud network.”

Technological Innovation Is Accelerating in China

It wasn’t just cloud technology that was on display in Hangzhou. Xu said, “We had almost 20 innovative uses at this Games that were the first of its kind in implementation and technology.” 

One cool initiative was the addition of robot dogs to the discus event. The robot pooch helped to deliver discs to athletes. A lot of planning and preparation went into creating the very first ‘smart Asian Games.’

Everything at the Huanzhou Asian Games was lightning fast. As soon as athletes finished a race or made an attempt, their results were instantly beamed onto the scoreboards.

Xi Ming, deputy director in charge of Ningbo operations sub-center of Hangzhou 2022, said, “We created a digital world at this Asian Games, breaking the limits and constraints between time and space and allowing a lot more people to experience and take part in the Games, truly bringing the real and virtual world together.”

Everything From the Opening Ceremony to the Kitchen Was Digitized

At the Hangzhou Asian Games, the Opening Ceremony was re-imagined. Traditional fireworks were dumped and replaced by a digital light show. Then, instead of lighting a flame, organizers used a digital torchbearer to light the Cauldron. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said, “The way we lit the Games cauldron was memorable and left a deep impression on everyone who saw it.” 

The innovative torchbearer program allowed more than one billion people from over 130 countries to participate, which would’ve been impossible without implementing digital technology. No longer was the program constrained by the limits of time and space.

When it came to the food during the Asian Games, the organizers utilized artificial intelligence to ensure the athletes received the very best food. The smart kitchen also featured facial recognition to ensure high levels of safety and hygiene.

Also, organizers successfully managed to eliminate traffic jams. City officials erected dedicated travel lanes for the Asian Games, which cut travel times by up to 40%, ensuring fans didn’t miss the biggest sporting moments. Hangzhou has already radically improved the air quality of the city by introducing fully electric buses – over 50% of the city’s buses are electric, and there are 2,500+ in service.

Hangzhou: A Beacon of Chinese Tech Advancement

Digitalization is particularly strong in Hangzhou, which is an innovative hub in China. The city of 10 million is home to numerous high-tech enterprises and research institutes that integrate technology into urban planning. It also hosts Alibaba’s futuristic headquarters, the Xixi Campus, which features interconnected buildings arranged in a hexagonal structure, resembling a beehive. The Xixi Campus is China’s answer to Google’s headquarters and is home to the next generation of Chinese tech founders and entrepreneurs. 

The Chinese government wanted to show off the strides China was making in the tech sector. Based on the success of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, they definitely showed the world what is possible and gave other organizers some ideas. It’ll be interesting to see what international multi-stage sports events like the Olympics will look like in 15 or 20 years. We’re likely to see more technology-infused events, and the viewing experience may take place in the metaverse.

Read More: What is Machina Sports?

Sport Enthusiast, Builder of brands, and proud founder of Machina Sports, dedicated to pioneering the fusion of human athleticism with cutting-edge technology. Committed to creating a global platform and brand that celebrates the excitement and innovation inherent in Machina Sports while engaging a diverse community of enthusiasts and athletes worldwide.

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The Future of Racing: Beyond Wheels and Into the Skies

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How flying cars and jet suit racing are redefining the boundaries of sports.

In a world obsessed with speed, the race track has long been a battleground for the most audacious of dreamers. 

It’s where innovation meets adrenaline, where the sound of engines and the screech of tires on asphalt have defined generations of speed fans. 

But as we stand on the brink of a new era, the race track is no longer confined to the limitations of the ground. We are entering an age where the sky becomes the ultimate racing frontier, and the boundaries of sports are being redefined right before our eyes.

Believe it or not — we already have a virtual reality gates for the flying cars. 

Growing up, I was mesmerised by speed. The faster, the better. Cars, bikes, rollerblades — if it could move, I wanted to see how fast it could go. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, flying cars were a fantasy reserved for superheroes and sci-fi movies. 

Little did I know, the future of racing was quietly brewing, not in the pages of comic books, but within the labs and minds of engineers and visionaries around the world.

And I was a part of it. — Lexie Janson, a flying car racing pilot

Lexie Janson (racing pilot) and her flying car.

When Dreams Take Flight

The pursuit of flying cars has long captured the human imagination. It’s a symbol of our desire to break free, to defy the very laws of nature that have bound us. But what once seemed like a distant dream is now palpably close. 

Companies around the globe are developing flying cars, not just as luxurious gimmicks, but as the next big thing in personal transport and, more importantly, in racing.

Imagine cities hosting grand prix events not on closed circuits, but above them, with flying cars racing between skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and down the riverbeds. 

And of course — crashing, which is a way less desirable part of it. 

Maybe let’s skip landmarks and historically important spots. 

The skillset for pilots in this new era goes beyond steering and braking. It is a mix of jet fighter pilot and Formula 1 driver. It’s about surviving the G-forces, creating a strategy for 3D circumstances and quick reaction times (especially if another pilot comes from above or below). 

Jet suit racing (Iron Man!?)

If flying cars promise to redefine racing on a macro scale, jet suit racing touches upon the individual’s quest for speed (and nerdy dreams of becoming an Iron Man)

Picture this: racers dressed in jet suits, lifting off from the ground, powered by the sheer force of technology strapped to their backs and hands. This sport requires an extreme core balance and body control strength. One missed move may mean crashing or spinning uncontrollably. 

“Oh, this is still an imagination,” you may say. But it’s not. It’s real:

CHeck out our vlog from the Gravity.co test flight vlog

In February 2024, Dubai, UAE — Gravity.co has conducted the first jetsuit race in the world. In this historical event 8 pilots have been fighting for the title of the first champion. The event had it all: crash into the water, disqualification, a pilot “losing it” and extreme circumstances. 

The final race lasted 90 seconds.

Its winner — Issa Kalfon has left his name on the pages of history for ever. An ex-gymnast claims that his past career path was one of the deciding factors in his training and win. Because machina sports are not just about the machines. It’s about human and the machine. 

Jet suit racing isn’t just about who crosses the finish line first; it’s a testament to human ambition and ingenuity. Each race pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, challenging pilots to outmanoeuvre their opponents while maintaining control over their high-powered suits. 

It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and extreme.

But Gravity.co is not only about racing. Their jetsuit is also created to help medics get to their patients in less favourable spots, transportation and military use. 

Gravity.co Dubai Race promotional picture

FPV Drone Racing — Esports and athletes

But not all the new sports require athletes to get into any type of a suit. FPV Drone racing is a discipline that connects esports with athletic abilities. 

As esports players get their time in the gym for reaction times, cardio, and general health — FPV Pilots need to do the same to withstand the stress and pressure during their races. 

It’s not all about the drones that one can buy in the store. It’s mostly self-built racing drones that can fly with a speed of 200km/h. 

FPV Racing Drone during MultiGP Sharjah event (owned photo)

During an FPV Race 4–8 pilots fly the FPV Drones through an obstacle track. Pilots see what their drones see in real time through FPV Goggles, and control them via an RC controller. 

Pilots often experience midair collisions, crashes, and exciting chases throughgout the race. But is it a spectator sport? Yes! In the recent event MultiGP Sharjah — FPV Drone Racing has reached a brand new level of spectator-friendly event. The audience could see what the pilots saw on the screens, but also “line of sight”. And the view? Easy to understand, and pretty exciting. If you are interested in more visuals — check out our vlog.

Long-exposure picture of the race in Sharjah (owned)

The Evolution of the Spectator

The sports as we know them haven’t changed much in the last decades, as the human bodies have limited capabilities. This is why machina sports are popping here and there showing that human and the machine mean even more excitement and a new, fresh outlook on sports and athletes. 

As racing seems to take to the skies, so too must our conception of spectatorship evolve. Traditional racetracks may transform into multi-dimensional arenas, offering views from below, above, and all around.

Can you imagine!?

Lexie Janson and her flying car (licensed photo)

Fans might follow races through augmented reality interfaces, experiencing the flight from the perspective of their favourite pilots. With the virtual reality tracks — the world becomes a stage, turning spectators into an integral part of the racing narrative.

And I guess we are all here for it. 

Embracing the Future

The migration of racing from wheels to the skies is more than an evolution in sports; it’s reimagining of human potential. 

Picture cyborgs…

In this era of air racing, every pilot’s journey, every race, every breathtaking moment reminds us of our collective drive to break barriers and explore new horizons.

As a child, I could only dream of such marvels. Yet, as we stand on the cliff of this thrilling future, it’s clear that those dreams weren’t just flights of fancy (pun intended). 

They were visions of what was to come. 

The future of racing is here, and it’s inviting us to look upwards, to the skies where the next chapter of human achievement is waiting to unfold (and entertain).


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Ski Like You’re 20 Again With This Nifty Exoskeleton

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Human with Exoskeleton Skiing - AI Image - Cyberpunk Theme

It’s no secret that skiing is tough on the back and knees. The high-intensity sport only becomes more difficult as we age. However, thanks to an exoskeleton dubbed Againer, that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Againer reduces pressure on your knees and back while increasing your leg power output. This simple-to-use exoskeleton can be attached to any ski boot and is made from lightweight plastics. The frame is stiff enough to give you the support that you need while still having adequate elasticity. 

This exoskeleton will set you back over $900, but if you love skiing like Bodie Miller, it’s well worth the investment. Againer is also incredibly easy to use, it clips onto your boots and then is worn over your ski pants.

How Does Againer Work?

Againer is a passive knee-only exoskeleton. You still need to do all of the work when it comes to making turns and guiding your skis down the mountain. This exoskeleton also comes loaded with an adjustable gas spring, alleviating pressure on the back and knees. You can increase or decrease the pressure depending on how much support you require.

The bottom of Againer clicks into your ski boots using a special connector that can be placed on all types of boots. There are multiple straps to ensure the exoskeleton stays securely attached to your knees. 

Againer has soft padding on the inside, so you won’t feel any discomfort no matter how long you use the exoskeleton or how many turns you make. It also has a simple click-and-go mechanism, which means it takes literally seconds to put on and take the brace. 

Who Is Againer For?

Againer can be used for skiers of all abilities and ages. It’s particularly effective for older skiers who have back and knee pain or have some leg muscle weakness. Many older skiers have reported feeling 20 years younger when strapping on the exoskeleton. They no longer feel that nasty leg burn and feel more confident making turns.

A 75-year-old advanced skier with mild osteoarthritis in his left knee recently put the Againer exoskeleton to the test. He decided to make 60 tight turns as quickly as possible while wearing the exoskeleton. He noted that his legs felt fine while normally he’s exhausted after making so many sharp turns in quick concessions.

Againer is also great for skiers who are coming back from injury. Skiing for the first time after an injury can be a daunting process as you don’t know if you can trust your body, and weakness, particularly in the back, legs, or knees, can negatively affect your technique.

However, with Againer helping you out, you essentially get a super strong pair of legs while alleviating excess pressure on your back and knees. With this exoskeleton guiding you down the mountain, you can ski confidently, even if you feel a bit rusty or out of shape. Also, you’re far less likely to hurt yourself when you take a tumble, as the exoskeleton acts as a brace.

Exoskeletons Make Sports More Accessible

While Againer won’t turn you into a professional skier, it does have the power to make the sport more accessible to people from varying backgrounds. It reduces the risk of injury while giving you the feeling of having iron legs. At the same time, you won’t feel any discomfort in your back or knees, which is a common complaint among skiers. 

If you’ve had to give up skiing due to an injury or feel exhausted after just one or two runs, then Againer may be the perfect tool to get you back out on the slopes. It’d be great if the company released a more active exoskeleton that could perform turns for you so virtually anyone could hit the slopes, no matter their experience level. However, the technology isn’t there yet, and we shudder to think how much that type of exoskeleton would cost.

In the future, we might see hybrid skiing events where professionals are able to achieve significantly faster times by wearing exoskeletons and potentially even new events. It’d also be awesome to see amateurs donning exoskeletons taking on pros skiing, competing old school with zero assistance. The presence of aids like Againer can also significantly extend the careers of professionals while making the sport safer.

Read More: Infinite Reality Buys Drone Racing League

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Exoskeleton Racing Is Here to Stay

With mech racing, you can rampage through forests, bound through the desert, and even flip cars. Find out more about this exciting futuristic sport!

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Mecha Racer - AI Generated Image - Cyberpunk theme

The team at Exosapien Technologies has raised over $37,000 to create a new Machina Sport called mech racing. For just under $2,000, you can step inside these giant exoskeletons and experience the power of the only fully exo-bionically controlled mech suit on the planet!

The Canadian team first launched an exoskeleton dubbed “Prosthesis” back in 2017 and has continuously improved the design to create a fully functional giant, all-terrain mech suit. Prosthesis is officially the biggest four-legged exoskeleton in the world.

Exosapien Technologies wants to take its exoskeleton across the world and launch its racing league. The Canadian engineers envision a global racing league where world-class athletes compete in head-to-head competitions through complex, technical obstacle courses, wearing giant, powered mech suits. 

Exosapien Technologies said, “Our vision for mech racing is more than just mind-blowing machines and world-class athletes. It’s a reminder that in a world increasingly dominated by automation and virtual experiences, there’s still a place where humans are in control, and our technology is simply there to help us reach new heights.”

Prosthesis Is 100% Human Controlled

Prosthesis stands four meters tall and weighs 4,000 kilograms. The exoskeleton is five meters long and can generate up to 200 hp for 60 minutes. The suspension system is custom-engineered air and coil-over shocks, while the motion system relies on electro-hydraulics with direct haptic feedback.

Despite the amount of design that has gone into Prosethesis and its impressive capabilities, this mech suit is 100% human-controlled. Prosthesis isn’t actually a robot, and there’s zero automation. Prosthesis doesn’t even have joysticks, a steering wheel, or foot pedals. Prosthesis is designed to respond to your movements. The mech suit is meant to be an extension of your body. The human element is why mech racing has such potential as a sport. The pilots are in control, they can’t rely on the machine to do the work for them!

What Can This Exoskeleton Do?

As soon as you strap yourself inside Prosthesis, you’re blessed with superhuman strength. Feats like throwing boulders and crushing cars are now effortless. And just because this giant exoskeleton weighs 4,000 kg doesn’t mean it’s slow. You can travel up to 30 km/h in this hulking steel cage.

Prosthesis also isn’t limited by environment. This exoskeleton has been specifically designed to handle all terrains, from mountains to forests to deserts. Prosthesis can explore everything the world has to offer.

Unlike other exoskeletons which are designed to improve certain functions or help with physical labor, Prosthesis has been designed specifically for sport. It can be physically grueling to use Prosthesis for long periods of time, and it really tests the athlete’s cardio and strength. We could see exoskeleton racers bounding up mountains and completing tough obstacle challenges. It’ll be interesting to see the types of race courses that Exosapien Technologies designs and the particular athletes who excel in this new sport. Athletes can’t be too heavy because it’ll harm their endurance, however, at the same time, they can’t be built like marathon runners.

Alpha Mech Pilot Program

Prosthesis takes some time to get used to, which is why Exosapien Technologies is running a special pilot program. For just under $2,000, they’ll put you through a boot camp and turn you into a master mech racer.

During the three-day boot camp, you’ll be given live demonstrations and put through a rigorous training program. The creators of Prosthesis will personally teach you, and you’ll get to perform all kinds of cool stunts, from flipping cars to picking up trees. You’ll feel like a real Iron Man strutting about in this cutting-edge mech suit.

The Alpha Mech pilot program takes place at the official Mech Ranch in the mountains of British Columbia. Following the intensive training, you’ll receive an official Mech Pilot’s License. There are only a handful of people on the entire planet who are qualified and licensed to operate Prosthesis. 

While Prosthesis is fully operational, there’s still no official word on when the racing league will start. Exosapier Technologies is hoping to host the first event within two years. With the popularity of movies like Pacific Rim and Transformers, mech racing has the potential to achieve mainstream success. We can’t wait to try out this giant four-legged exoskeleton one day!

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