UK researchers spent $89,000 developing a sensor-laden broom in the
hopes of optimizing curlers’ strokes. Strain gauges measure how hard a
brush is being pushed, while accelerometers provide velocity info and a
thermocouple in the head monitors ice temperature. "Do you want to be
sweeping your heart out and not know what you’re doing?" asks Mike Hay,
the UK’s Olympic coach. "It’s really been smoke and mirrors until now."
The women’s team used an early iteration of the brush prior to winning
the gold in 2002. Now the men, too, are tapping the smart sweeper to
try to ice the competition in Turin, Italy.