Can you juggle? That is always a skill that I’ve always wanted to acquire, but somehow, my hand-eye co-ordination stops at just a couple of balls, anything more than that and my brain would get scrambled. Robots, however, are capable of juggling and with apparent ease, I might add. Bear in mind that programming a robot to learn how to juggle is no mean feat, but it is the perfect excuse to come up with a robot that is capable of demonstrating precision control and high-speed object tracking. You will be able to see a juggling robot in action in the video right after the jump.
Constructed by a trio of Masters students from the Department of Control Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague, three linear motors will see action, where one of them is in each arm while a third remains for a central ball deployment system. Capable of catching and tossing up to five balls simultaneously, the feedback loop remains closed, using data from encoders that are built in the motors, with a high-speed camera helping it fine-tune the trajectories of the balls.
Without any sensing going on, it is a miracle that no one would have thought possible a few decades ago, and here we are with juggling robots. Perhaps those clowns in the circus might want to pick up some robot humor as they might be their future colleagues…
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