September 01st 2016

SWARCO RAIDERS Tyrol train with MCI technology

MCI Department for Mechatronics developed football machine for the training of five-time Austrian Bowl Champion SWARCO RAIDERS: the prototype achieves shooting precision of professional quarterbacks and increases international interest in the know-how of the Entrepreneurial School®

What may be common practice at United States colleges and universities only found its way into the European educational system last fall, when the Innsbruck-based American football club SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol and Management Center Innsbruck joined forces to launch a unique cooperation under the motto “Let’s Win Together”. A group of mechatronics students supervised by project manager Bernhard Hollaus have now introduced the prototype of an innovative football machine developed within the frame of a project initiated by the cooperation.

The innovative device can shoot balls at a distance of up to 70 meters and a speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Throwing balls across the entire 120-yard long football field, the machine can simulate football passes in a consistent manner. The accuracy of +/- 30 centimeters per 20 meters corresponds to the actual shooting precision of an experienced quarterback: the machine can thus hit a target as small as a bucket. There is currently not a single machine on the market for American football achieving such precision levels as the MCI prototype.

At the same time, the machine allows for easy operation via a specifically developed app. In the upcoming year, the machine shall already be used in the training of the AFL Champion. The remaining months will be used to optimize the prototype with regard to trajectory planning, energy self-sufficiency, and friction modelling. Providing an innovative opportunity for receivers to practice pass-catching, the optimized machine shall increase the over-all efficiency of the training of the SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol team.


Gerwin Wichmann, General Manager of SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol: “The partnership between SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol and MCI builds on promising synergies: following the American tradition of college football, it establishes a link between highly professional amateur sports and advanced education. The present project is a perfect example of the innovative and productive cooperation.”

Shuan Fatah, Head Coach of SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol: “I am impressed with the speedy implementation of the project. Both the electronic set-up of the machine and the app for its operation give reason to expect a high-end product with enormous potential. I am truly excited and looking forward to using the football machine for our training.”

Bernhard Hollaus, Project Manager and Research Assistant at the MCI Department for Mechatronics: “As Entrepreneurial School®, we are particularly committed to equipping our students with practical know-how and offering our partners innovative ideas and solutions for added value. We are absolutely delighted to be able to support the successful football team of SWARCO RAIDERS Tirol.”

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