Air Hockey 3D, How a 3D Printer Became a Precise Machine Play Table Hockey

At Engadget have spoken many times of the 3D printers. We like its power to create all sorts of objects: from the most ordinary things really sophisticated, even food. It has already shown its potential and now will take the most important step: take hold and become a reference in many sectors.

We can use a printer for, despite the redundancy, create objects but and if using a printer and its mechanisms to create a completely different object? This is what raised Jose Julio when he wanted to create Air Hockey 3D. A robotic table hockey player.

We see the project on its website in a video where he teaches us How have you created your creature. Everything is rudimentary and does not have the finish of the typical table that we would find ourselves in an arcade room. However, love to all lovers of this game play a game in it.

Tells his Creator that he wanted to “make a robotics project using this technology because right now it is very affordable and has great potential.” Linking this concept with a hobby of her daughter: air hockey.

“One of the initial considerations of the project was to be replicable and so on one hand I tried to generate a good documentation and on the other hand not I’m”out”of the script use the components of the 3D printers because thus it assured me that they would be cheap and easy to get.”

“I’m a lover of technology, but I don’t like the role of passive consumer.”

Jose July put hands to work and caught its RedRap parts, a common 3D printer to create your robotic hockey player. He began to try different parts until he met that most conform to your needs and resources. In addition to all this the project leaves us a fundamental idea: that was replicable.

Value with which to work, not only wanted that anyone could catch all the elements and, as if it were a recipe, which we could ride our own table hockey. I mean? José explains: “the skills to replicate this project are approximately the same as someone needs to build a 3D printer”. You don’t have to be a handyman, but some of the knowledge that we will need to.

After developing the mechanism making it moved the stick along their side of the table, it was time to develop the software allowing you to recognize the movement of the tab so I could predict it. A time has led him refine it and now, he says, he is able to win his daughter but at the moment he still can with him.

It will end up being a machine invincible play table hockey? Jose Julio says he continues to work on improving the AI system to make it a very difficult rival. The code is quite isolated so that anyone can modify it with better algorithms.

An interesting part of this project is that strategy of the Robot algorithms are quite isolated in the code so it will be easy for people to modify the code in the Arduino and generate new algorithms probably better than mine and that they can even compete with each other.
I’ve surprised the success that has had the project and the video so by popular demand (there are many comments in this regard) think that I will build a second Robot on the other side of the table in order to Robot-Robot clashes with different strategies and check on the ground who is best…
Last comment that I feel fortunate to be able to build “toys” that I would have liked having when I was a child. Projects like this are a demonstration that science can be fun.

Your next step? Build another couple for the robot and make items between the two systems to see what works best. Certainly an interesting project and that, personally, as a fan of this game I would love to try sometime.

Many thanks to José July for wanting to collaborate with us in developing this article.