Rowcus - Rowing collision protection

This project is the result of my bachelor thesis in the field of industrial design at the ZHdK (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) in cooperation with the ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) over a period of three months. 

Rowing is always done with the back to the direction of travel and if, as in most cases, no extra steersman is available to look in that direction, the crew, more precisely the bowman, has to take over this responsibility himself. Only a few boats have a place for this additional steersman. The rest of the team must be able to trust the bowman blindly, as they only see their teammate behind them. In order not to miss anything, the bowman has to look back every 3-8 strokes, which disturbs the technically challenging movement and negatively influences the flow of the boat. Despite the constant turning around, accidents occur frequently, which often involve high material costs and injuries. 

We have therefore set ourselves the goal of developing an intuitive system that warns the rowers of obstacles so that safety can be increased and looking back in the boat reduced to a minimum. In addition, the athlete should be distracted as little as possible from the system so that he can fully concentrate on the complex motion sequence. 

If you wish to see more of this project, please fill out the form and I will be happy to send you the full documentation of the project. 


Time period:

March - June 2018


Bachelor of Arts: Industrial Design


Damian Lenherr (ETH)


Rowcus project page



Design and Technologie Lab