Baseball goes high-tech on Villlanova's campus

Jamie Apody Image
Monday, May 14, 2018
Baseball practice goes high tech at Villanova
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Baseball practice goes high tech at Villanova: Jamie Apody reports on Action News at 6 p.m., May 14, 2018

VILLANOVA, Pa. (WPVI) -- If you have ever wondered what it would be like to face a 96MPH Justin Verlander fastball you can now find out; not on the baseball field, but inside what's called 'The Cave' in Falvey Memorial Library on Villanova's campus.

Dr. Mark Jupina, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, just happens to love baseball.

Jupina developed this system after speaking with Wildcats Baseball Coach Kevin Mulvey.

The virtual reality environment, the first of its kind, is helping the team improve their pitch recognition.

Using complex equations and physics along with computer software, he can load any pitch by any big league pitcher into the system, changing its spin, velocity and trajectory.

Jupina is working on the backgrounds too, so hitters can be in any ballpark.

Call it watching film for the future.

Inside his lab, Jupina is working on pairing the technology with a hitting simulator using the Oculus Rift, so whereas The Cave is a $1.6 million setup, this version could bring it down to a couple thousand dollars using enhanced computers.

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