Engineering 101

Hobbyists hack a 3D printer to create robotic air hockey partner

Two electronic hobbyists, Juan Pedro and Jose Julio, who really love tinkering with robots, started up a website called JJRobots, where they offer up DIY instructions for intriguing projects.

In one such project, the duo, hacked a 3D printer and turned it into a robotic air hockey table — so you’ll never need a second player again.

(Image via JJRobots)
(Image via JJRobots)

The idea came after the pair built their own 3D printer. They then decided to modify the parts, which were based on a standard RepRap 3D printer, such as NEMA17 stepper motors, drivers, Arduino Mega, RAMPS, belts , bearings, and rods, all which are fairly inexpensive and available almost anywhere.

The hockey table measures 100 x 60 cm and the robot can be attached with just six screws.

Pretty much anyone with a little experience can create their own robot competitor. For a complete, detailed set of instructions, visit JJRobots.

Currently, the robot plays at a skill-level high enough to easily beat a child, but an adult with some experience can probably beat it.

According to the project page,”the project is fully alive with undergoing improvements, both in code and to the robot. All contributions to the project are welcome.” One such future improvement may include equipping the robot with a self-calibrate the camera by using pre-defined movements.

There’s even mention of robotic air hockey competitions where one robot is attached to either side of the table.


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