Here are some ping pong playing robots to start your day. There are many that serve balls, but we want a robot that can both serve and volley. Can this little wonder be real?
The Ulf Hoffmann table tennis robot, a project of 2 years of development, plays the ball back independently, it’s made of really good servo motors. Watch the video… The DIY ping pong robot UHTTR-1 made by Ulf Hoffman, works with a camera that senses the ball, and then the software tells the motor where to move the aluminum arm.
Several think this is a Computer Graphics fake. One example comment:
Fake though, look at the robot at 0:05 and you’ll see that a part of it disappears, and just look every time his hand moves past the robot and you’ll see. Plus the CGI is good but kinda obvious in the animation.
I didn’t see it disappear anywhere, but it does seem to move and stop too fast to be real at places. It’s a well done fake if so with multiple angles.
Here’s one of the big players in robot tennis: Forpheous by Omron Automation Lab, for comparison with Ulf’s compact design.
Meet FORPHEUS the ping-pong robot that will improve your table tennis skills while having fun at the same time by keeping a rally going. In addition to the conventional function to control returning the ball according to the trajectory and strength of the player’s ball, the 3rd-generation FORPHEUS is equipped with new amazing technologies where humans and machines grow together by using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies. It can learn about characteristics of the player’s actions and the trajectory of the ball and keep a rally going, which guides a person to make more progress.
Ping-Pong-playing robots are nothing new. Perhaps you remember the much-hyped 2014 match between Timo Ball and the Agilus robot from RBR 50 company KUKA.
Here is a highly and I think over dramatically edited match with the Agilus. You can’t really tell how it went due to the excessive cuts and slow-mos, however.
… But Omron Corp.’s FORPHEUS robot table-tennis tutor will wipe the floor with the older models. Along with Omron, which is exhibiting at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show for the first time, FORPHEUS will make its U.S. debut Jan. 9 through 12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
FORPHEUS, or the simply named “Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized aUtomation with Sinic Theoretics,” swings a paddle with a robot arm that’s controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and a 5-axis motor system.
FORPHEUS uses two cameras (left and right) to track the ball at a rate of 80 times per second. They help it figure out how to hit the ball, accounting for timing, direction, and trajectory, within one-thousandth of a second, according to Omron. The system uses a third central camera to evaluate its opponent, based on their movements.
Stay tuned to this page, I will update it if possible with the latest ping pong robot developments.