Blind Juggler Robot

A few articles ago I wrote about a robot for Disney that can juggle balls with people. Well, this robot is a bit lonely, maybe because of its lack of eyes (visual sensors), and its talent would never have been discovered had it not been built by two members of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich.

Raffaello D'Andrea and juggling robot

Well, I suppose you might try to argue that it’s not really blind, since robots don’t always have visible “eyes.” But this robot is uniquely “blind” because it has no visual sensors, relying solely on mechanical sensors on the paddle to detect trajectory, spin, and force.

To prevent the robot from hitting the ball too hard  in any direction, the paddle is slightly curved. Each time the ball hits the paddle, the robot uses the data it receives from the mechanical sensors to speed up or slow down the paddle’s motion and hit the ball in a stable arc. This allows the robot to juggle multiple balls around for hours in a regular manner.

So far testing has shown that the robot can handle many different kinds of balls. But I don’t think that professional jugglers need to worry yet. The robot can’t throw around bottles or even shoes (and thus anything not remotely ball-shaped), which are simple enough for regular jugglers.

This entry was posted in Images and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>