Air Hockey of Fury

Air Hockey of Fury

Namiki Lab Air Hockey Robot Can Play With Strategy

Robots that can play air hockey can now play strategically as a result of work by researchers at Chiba University’s Namiki Lab. The system they constructed consists of an air-hockey table, a Barrett four-axis robotic arm, two high-speed cameras and an external PC. This is not the first air hockey playing robot developed. Back in 2008, there was the Nuvation Air Hockey robot that had admirers. This was an industrial robot equipped with an optical sensor that was programmed to follow and react to a moving object. The difference between the Nuvation robot and the Namiki Lab robot is that the latter is able to strategize against its human opponent. Professor Akio Namiki and his group were able to design a robot that can change its strategy based on the opponent’s playing style. The robot isn’t just playing, but is making its plays tailored specifically to the opponent it is playing against.
The researchers wrote that their motive in developing the air hockey robot system was “to develop the technology of high-speed human interactive robot in which the robot reads the opponent’s intention and moves in response to the opponent’s motion and human purpose expectation.”
The research focus of Professor Namiki is generally on the robot hand, grasping, dynamic manipulation, visual feedback control, sensor fusion and sensory-motor fusion. The report in IEEE Spectrum Magazine, the flagship publication of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) that explores the development, applications and implications of new technologies, describes how the university researchers programmed the robot with a three-layer control system. The first layer takes care of the motion control at the hardware level. The second layer decides if the robot should hit the puck, defend the goal, or stay still. The robot chooses the right move to counter the incoming trajectory of the puck. The third layer deals with a longer-term strategy.
According to the team, their experiments showed that the robot was able to figure out playing behaviors. The Chiba researchers, together with Professor Namiki, are Sakyo Matsushita, Takahiro Ozeki and Kenzo Nonami. They are authors of the paper “Hierarchical Processing Structure for an Air-Hockey Robot System.” They presented this paper at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Germany.

hot keywords and useful links



Copyright(c) 2017 Air Hockey of Fury All Rights Reserved.