Robomintoner - A robot that plays badminton!
Artificial Intelligence and robots have ventured into almost all fields now, be it medical, military or science. In their quest for global takeover, they have not left sports behind, and have played chess with top ranked players and defeated world champions at Go. Now the latest game to see the debut of a robot and one that could give stiff competition to players is badminton.
The robot, allegedly the only of its kind was created by students and teachers at the University of Electronic Science and Tech, China, and has been nicknamed ‘Robomintoner’.
Robomintoner uses an HD Camera and has a binocular vision system, just like humans and many other animals, to visualise the flying shuttlecock that is lobbed at it by its opponent. The robot uses Bluetooth to wirelessly convey the position and direction of the shuttlecock to a base station, to determine where the shuttlecock is likely to land.
It is also armed with trajectory information, which helps it to swiftly move to that location, setting itself up to strike the shuttlecock back at its opponent, using a regular badminton racket (two, actually), attached to its actuating arms.
The robot’s indoor navigation system is positioned at its heart and is designed in such a way that it is accurate up to millimetres.
“Currently, there is no perfect system in the world for a robot to locate itself indoors. The technology used in the Robomintoner is actually very advanced. No matter how it moves on the court, as long as it’s got battery it will know its exact location. It won’t lose its direction; it won’t lose itself,” says Luo Deyuan, Mechatronics Professor of the University of Electronic Science and Tech, told China Central Television.
The system is not perfect as of yet, as there are times when the robot appears to get confused, but it is definitely a step towards the right direction. The creators on Robomintoner have not revealed any price for it and aim to release the machine into the market within a month.