I'd like to think I'm a decent air hockey player, but I'm not match for what Jose Julio built. Using 3-D printer parts and a PlayStation 3 camera, the Spanish hacker constructed an air hockey-playing robot that's not only a pretty good shot, but one heck of a goal tender, too.
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After designing the air hockey table, using two PC fans create the cushion of air, Julio got to work dismantling his RepRap 3-D printer. The printer's stepper motors, drivers, belts, bearing and rods were all repurposed to bring his air hockey robot to life. Julio developed a vision system by attaching a PS3 EYE camera, which tracks the puck's trajectory and moves the robot into place for a block.
"Now the robot could easily beat a child. An adult with some experience can still the robot, but I am sure that with some more small improvements it is going to be really hard to beat," Julio wrote on his blog.
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As it stands, the open-source project is available for improvements and modifications via Julio's blog. Check out the following video and see if you have what it takes to score on the robot.