You Will Never Beat This Sharpshooting Robot at Table Hockey

Over the years we’ve seen quite a few successful attempts to create robotic air hockey opponents, but Andrew Khorkin has dedicated himself to a much harder task. He’s managed to build a robot that can not only play table hockey—a more onerous task than playing air hockey—but one that can slap the puck into the net from almost anywhere on the board with incredible accuracy.

To a human player, air hockey can feel frenetic and chaotic as they try to keep their eyes on that puck zipping back and forth across an air-cushioned table. But the game isn’t terribly hard for a robotic player to master, assuming they’ve got access to a camera sitting above the table. The puck’s movements are relatively predictable as it bounces around, and as long as the robot is able to move its paddle into position fast enough, it will never lose.

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Ivan Miranda’s Sand Drawing Robot, Take 2

Drawing messages on the sand is perhaps as old as history itself, but Ivan Miranda has come up with a tracked vehicle to automate this ephemeral art form. In fact, what’s seen in the video below is his second take on a sand drawing robot, boasting a much faster print speed than his 2018 version with the caveat that it prints with less contrast.

The new device features 50 SG90 micro servos spread out across a piece of square tubing, controlled by a total of three Arduino Mega boards. These intermittently extend as they’re pulled forward by a tread system on each side to produce words. The build is so long that he has to actually extend his workbench to get it to fit, and at a weight of 13.5 kilograms (around 30 pounds) without the battery, he created a custom trailer assembly to walk it to the beach.

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Building an Arduino-based bipedal bot

If you’d like to build a walking biped robot, this 3D-printed design by Technovation looks like a fantastic place to start. Each leg features three servos that actuate it at the hip, knee, and ankle for a total of six degrees of freedom.

Control is handled by an Arduino Uno board that rides on top of the legs, along with a perfboard to connect to the servos directly.

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