We’ve moved to a new home and now have more space – and more kit! If you visited the old office, then you’ll know that every inch of space from floor to ceiling was used. We now have multiple offices, giving us the space to carry out even more projects as well as dedicated area for testing our systems. Our new home is still in Hampshire, but we’re now on the edge of the South Downs just outside the market town of Alton. It's thanks to the proximity of Alton for our broadband being 25x faster than before.

400pcMoreOfficeSpaceAdding to our existing office space we now have a large dedicated workshop – linked to our office by our own narrow-gauge railway line. The plan is to fully restore the line and add an automated electric shuttle for getting kit (and people) up to the office. There has been a lot to do to get the new office up-and-running, from network cabling to a new security and CCTV system, but we are now back up to full speed and ready for the next awesome project!

WorkshopIgfxOne unplanned advantage of the move is the electromagnetic quiet. We are doing so much with WiFi, Bluetooth Smart (BTLE) and ANT wireless that testing in a normal office environment can be frustrating. We are now able to isolate all local sources of 2.4GHz EMC, which means that our test harnesses can be made highly repeatable.

Finally, when you’re visiting us, then we also have a lot more parking and even better links to London Waterloo.

Our new address is:

Yellowcog Ltd
The Aviary
New Odiham Road
GU34 5TB


Race Technology Ltd now stocking yellowcog kit: our Pilot™-RT heart rate and energy monitoring kit is now available from the Race Technology store. The Pilot™-RT was specifically designed to tightly integrate with their range of data loggers including the incredibly popular DL1. Race Technology have been going since 2002 - everyone in motorsport knows their products which include data loggers, displays, ECU interfaces and video products.

The Pilot™-RT brings Heart rate; Heart rate variability; R-R intervals; Stress index; and energy and calorie burn. The product has two serial ports that communicate using the native Race Technology protocols, just add the Pilot™-RT to the sensor daisy chain and within seconds the vehicle’s data will be augmented with physiological data.

The Pilot™-RT is available exclusively from Race Technology. Here’s the press release:

 Driver Heart Rate Integration
 Pilot RT

Heart rate is an indicator of the physical load a driver is experiencing. Exertion, stress, age, gender and fitness all govern the heart rate and it gives a good indication of how hard a driver is working. The heart rate while on track is also pushed up by the mental strain of racing, fast thinking needs more oxygen.

Compatible with Race Technology data systems, the Yellowcog heart rate interface brings the driver's physiological data into race data analysis. An ANT+ heart rate strap (supplied) is worn by the driver, and data is sent wirelessly to the interface.

Viewing the heart rate data alongside race data in the Race Technology Analysis software brings driver strain into the spot light. Analysing driver heart rate will illustrate the physical load on the driver during the race, understanding areas of high exertion or strain. Knowing this data allows dedicated drivers to train their body for racing, targeting heart rate zones that will improve their driving performance.

For more information on integrating heart rate to a Race Technology data system, please visit our website here

© Race Technology Ltd. 2017

Yellowcog’s Pilot™ biometric monitoring systems are to be used throughout the America's Cup event to monitor both crew physiology and the extreme physical workload they are undertaking. The data collected will be distributed as part of live TV broadcasts, highlights and through the America’s Cup app.

From the America’s Cup yacht crews we will provide heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing, body temperature, g-forces, calorie burn, exertion and stress levels. On the yacht, we will provide data from all of the grinding positions to show how much work is put in.

The America’s Cup race will be held in Bermuda and most teams are already there preparing. Emirates Team New Zealand are the one team that have stayed at home and have now revealed why: their hull-mounted bike grinders (possibly now known as “cyclors”!). We’ve recently added the ability to collect data from up to 15 ANT devices so we’re ready for them; eight bikes on their yacht presents no problem.

The system will use a combination of Bluetooth and ANT wireless technologies to simultaneously collect data from all the crew as well as allowing crew changes without needing to reconfigure the system. The data is output via RS-422 to the off-yacht media stream as well as being made available to the teams via a separate CAN bus. Each yacht will have yellowcog’s Pilot™ mounted on the aft media post which gives it complete wireless coverage of the entire yacht. The Pilot devices have built in security to ensure that all competitors are given the same Americas Cup Event Authority controlled set-up and that no one gains an unfair advantage. All teams will conform to the terms in AC35 Biometric Data Specification.

Pilot™ was originally designed for motorsport driver monitoring but soon found uses outside of this; from cycling to educational TV programmes. There are many parallels between motorsport and top-tier yachts racing. The yachts run data logging and analysis systems that were also originally designed for motorsport. Systems (like Cosworth’s Pi) are used to monitor and control all aspects of the yacht. The pedestals are used to provide hydraulic power to the yacht to move the hydrofoils and sails. The crew operate as “human batteries” providing the power with the on-board systems able to distribute it to where it is needed.

Yellowcog is very proud to have been given this prestigious contract and we are hugely excited that biometric monitoring is coming to the fore in a year when physical fitness, load and performance could make the difference between first and second.

The 35th America's Cup runs from 26th May - 27th June 2017.

Isle of Man Subaru TT Attack, a return to the island for yellowcog. We were there to lend our expertise in biometric monitoring to Subaru, Prodrive and, of course, Mark Higgins. The purpose was the break the current record for a car on the TT circuit (officially the Snaefell Mountain Course). The first target was the previous car lap record set by Higgins in 2014. The next part was to see where the car could come compared to the bikes.

subar complete lap youtube.tnIf you’ve never seen footage of the TT riders in action then following this link right now! Everyone there is there to race yet the atmosphere in the pits is a strange one. On the one hand the atmosphere is very friendly, very relaxed and inclusive. On the other hand is the undertone of danger. Riders die every year. Many died in 2016. Every team, many of which are run by the families, know that as the rider disappears off out of sight there is a very real chance that they will be seriously hurt. Yes, it is dangerous, and whatever the vehicle, it takes guts.

Mark Higgins In The Car.tnThere are obvious pros and cons of car and bike. The TT bikes are very light yet powerful so reach incredible top speeds. Bikes though are limited by tyre surface area, they only have two wheels and the tyres have to be profiled so that the bike can lean in on the corners. This leaves bikes with a very small tyre contact patch. Compare this to the Subaru fitted with four fat racing slicks. The Subaru is of course very powerful too but is also much heavier. All this equates to the bikes being fastest on the straights and the Subaru being fastest on the corners. There are a lot of straights and corners on the TT circuit.

On our previous trip to the island, Mark Higgins completed the circuit in 19m15.88s which gives an average speed of 117.51 mph (189.114km/h). This year the car was much more powerful and now engineered in what we might call Full Rally Spec by Prodrive. All-in-all it is a beast of a car. The plan was to make three or four attempts to beat the 2014 time but also to challenge the various categories of bikes. As always (in our experience) on the Isle of Man, the weather came into play. This scuppered a few of the runs as delays pushed back schedules. The good news was that on Higgins’s first full run he smashed his previous time. Then on Saturday he beat that time again clocking in at 17m35.139s which is an average of 128.730mph (207.17km/h). Here’s how Higgins compares to the bikes:

Class Machine Human Lap Time Avg mph Avg km/h
Outright BMW S 1000 RR Michael Dunlop 16:53.929 133.962 215.591
TT Superbike BMW S 1000 RR Michael Dunlop 16:58.254 133.393 214.675
Superstock TT BMW S 1000 RR Ian Hutchinson 17:00.510 133.098 214.200
TT Challenge Subaru WRX STI Mark Higgins 17:35.139 128.730 207.171
Supersport Honda CBR 600 RR Michael Dunlop 17:35.659 128.666 207.067
Lightweight TT Kawasaki 650 James Hillier 18:43.955 120.848 194.486
TT Zero Team Mugen John McGuinness 18:58.743 119.279 191.960
Sidecar TT LCR Honda 600 Ben & Tom Birchall 19:22.928 116.798 187.968

Drugslab is a BNN production investigating the effects of various recreational drugs using yellowcog’s kit to see results in real-time. We’ve always prided ourselves on delivering the unusual – people we know seem to do unusual things – and this is a prime example.

Drugslab Cannabis VitalSigns.crop.400The experiments are simple – each week one of the hosts explains about a drug, talks of the dangers, the dos-and-don’ts, then takes the drug and explains the effects as they happen. We can see an objective view of their physiological reactions in real-time via the yellowcog kit relaying their vital sign data to the TV screen behind them. What we can see is the subject’s heart rate and temperature – vital signs that are good indicators of the metabolic changes caused by the drugs.

The experiment wouldn’t be allowed in many countries but is being recorded in the Netherlands where they have a different approach to drugs. It is hard to argue that young people shouldn’t be made aware of the whole picture surrounding drugs – the more they know, the safer they will be.

I encourage you to watch the shows – the hosts are a delight to watch as they combine lots of fact with just a little mischief. While one is under-the-influence the other takes on the role of a friendly supervisor to question them about the effects, their feelings and changes in perception. The programs are amusing and well produced with a quality feel to every show. There is a new program out every week on Fridays at 17:00 CEST under the Drugslab YouTube channel.

YellowcogReadyToAnalyse tnWall of Death World Record: Guy Martin sets the new world record for the fastest wall of death, clocking a speed of 78.15mph (125.77 kph). The live show was broadcast on Channel 4 on Bank Holiday Monday on 28th March. Yellowcog were there to monitor Guy and the g-forces he was subjected to. If you don’t know what a wall of death is then keep reading!

So what is a wall of death? Wiki describes it best but simply put it is a vertical cylinder large enough to ride a motorbike around the interior wall. The bike can ride on the vertical wall due to what we experience as centrifugal force. The reality is that the bike wants to go flying off in the direction it is currently travelling but the wall keeps getting in the way, curving the bike’s path around and around. Anything over a few g is enough to stick to the wall. We were taking 100 g-force samples per second so could see how the reality met the physics in this giant science experiment.

The wall was made by upending 47 full-sized shipping containers and arranging them into a circle. The containers were then clad in tons of wood to form a smooth riding surface. In order to get on the wall in the first place there is a 45 degree ramp all the way around. This ramp is used to get up to speed before moving up onto vertical section.

It was a great bit of television, combining fun and danger in equal measures. Guy Martin is always good to listen to, as he calmly describes what he is about to do while everyone else looks on wincing at the thought. We can reveal that Guy Martin’s calm exterior is no act. We were able to see his heart rate in real-time and we could see that as he stood waiting to get on his bike before setting off on his first attempt his heart rate was as low as 60 beats per minute! Many people do not have a resting heart rate that low but Guy was on live TV and getting ready to do something that could easily injure him.

Yellowcog were stationed both on the media platform and in the centre of the wall. It was great to be surrounded by Guy’s family and friends and to see their reaction each time he went up on the wall. Guy’s girlfriend Sharon was excited and nervous in equal measure but after each run Sharon would ask “How fast?” and “What’s his heart doing?”

GuyMartinPreparingForPractice tnNewtonProvenCorrectAgain tnThe data we collected (and which was shown on screen) was remarkable – seeing it live with a man on a motorbike whizzing around the wall two foot away brought a sense of urgency to it all too. As expected, Guy’s heart rate and breathing increased to match the exertion of riding under such g-loads but we could also see that on each subsequent run on the wall he was relaxing into it and his peaks were reducing – apart from the record breaking run! On the record breaking run the peak while on the wall was as the previous run – but after he began to slow down there was an unexpected but very noticeable increase. Guy knew he had nailed it on the run and the psychological impact was visible physiologically.

The show was produced by North One TV. We have worked with them before (on the Isle of Man TT Challenge) and they brought a level of enthusiasm, teamwork and professionalism that other companies, other industries, would die for. The project itself was huge. WallOfDeath ConstructionThe construction of the wall is the most obvious manifestation but to stage something like this there are so many logistical problems to overcome. I think a good comparison is live sport but there the venues come complete with media areas and facilities; the wall of death however was built in an empty hangar and every single piece of equipment from our small part to the outside broadcast trucks to the lighting rigs and the on-screen talent had to be brought in and combined. The months of preparation finally came together on the day and although people were stressed, the atmosphere was like a festival – lights and sounds and excited people buzzing about! It was an unforgettable experience and yellowcog is proud to have played a part.