This summer we invited two high school students, Ian and Cade, to spend a couple of weeks getting to know Thunderboard Sense. Here they summarize what happened when they applied the sensor-to-cloud development kit to the game of tennis. 


Who We Are

Our names are Ian Wood and Cade Nowicki and we are two high school interns from the central Texas area. Our task was to find an activity or object that could be enhanced or improved by the Thunderboard Sense IoT Development Starter Kit (for example, using the heat temperature sensors to find your daily weather).




Our Project        

With this basic information, we wanted to do something fun and related to a summertime activity. With this in mind we decided to use tennis as our topic. We placed the Thunderboard Sense, which has a variety of sensors, on a tennis racket to see how different environmental factors and position of the athlete affect performance. Since the Thunderboard Sense gathers all kinds of data relating to the environment and position, we were pretty sure it could help us answer our question. 


TB Sense1 copy.png


What We Found

We produced a variety of results during our experiments. The most fascinating was when we discovered that as UV increased, the amount of acceleration measured also increased. The two are directly proportional. The graphs below shows one with a UV of 0 and another with a UV of 9. The graph on the left show a slight change in acceleration while the graph on the right displays a more dramatic change in acceleration.


Since the main difference between the two environments was UV, we can conclude that as UV increases so does the acceleration. Even though other environmental factors changed between the two trials, we believe that the change in UV is more likely to be the main difference because most other environmental factors changed very little as shown below in the spreadsheet.


TB Data copy.png



TB Sense Data.png


The change in the Z axis, shown in the graphs, is us swinging the racket while the x and y axis is the angle of our hand position and body orientation.


How the Thunderboard was Beneficial

The Thunderboard Sense gave us the chance to learn more about how the future and technology is becoming more cohesive. Our experience using the Thunderboard Sense also gave us insight into the real world of electronics giving us students an idea of how technology is making the world a more connected place.


Thunderboard Sense

The chip in general was incredible! The size of the chip for the amount of sensors it had was amazing. This product was great when we tested our idea for the chip because it was capable of doing so many tasks, the use of the Thunderboard is seemingly endless. This task we were given has taught us so much about real life projects and it gave us a glimpse of what our futures may hold.


Check out their video recap below:


About Cade and Ian

Cade Nowicki attends Dripping Springs High School in Dripping Springs Texas. He's interested in the engineering field and participates in his school's F1 competition, where a team designs and markets a mini F1 car. The team recently attended Nationals where they got some real world experience with engineering, but nothing like his experience with Thunderboard Sense.


Ian Wood is a junior at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas. He's also interested in engineering and plans to study it in college. Before his internship at Silicon Labs, he had little experience in real-world project management, but after this summer has a better understanding of how to schedule and manage projects.

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