Spanish hacker converts his 3D printer into an air hockey-playing robot

Hacker Jose Julio loves robotics and says his daughter loves air hockey. One day, he decided to build her an air hockey robot out of 3D-printer parts and a PS3 camera to make sure she could always play the game.  This is an amazing achievement: the robot doesn’t just move in two dimensions. It can also predict the puck’s movements, decide whether to block or shoot, and is adjustable in difficulty.

In the battle of man versus machine, first came computer chess. Now there’s air hockey. Over the past several months, Spanish technophile Jose Julio has been working on a hack to turn his 3-D printer into the ultimate air hockey opponent. The perennial tinkerer said on his blog he designed and built his own 3-D printer but then started looking for ways to use the components in entirely new ways. First came B-Robot a cute, self-balancing robot on wheels.  Then, he decided to combine his love of robotics with his young daughter’s interest in air hockey. “It seemed very complicated and with many unresolved questions (puck detection??, robot speed??), but that is also part of the fun,” Julio wrote on his blog.

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