Khaleej Times smashes robot 5-4 in badminton
Looking for a partner to play badminton with may soon become a thing of the past. At the ongoing Gitex Technology Week at Dubai World Trade Centre, a robotic racquet known as Badminton Robot is challenging visitors to a match.
On Monday, Khaleej Times took the challenge and faced Badminton Robot for a race-to-five, one-set match. The (human) reporter won 5-4 but if the game took longer, Badminton Robot could have won, hands down.
So, how does Badminton Robot play?
Zhong Peicheng, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), explained that Badminton Robot is composed of two parts.
'Shangwei' is the upper part that serves as the brain or main operating system. It is stationary and placed at the end of the court. It has two sensors, which serve as the electronic eyes that allow Badminton Robot to focus on the shuttlecock.
Shangwei sends signal to 'Xiawei' (the lower part) via Bluetooth to find its way around the badminton court.
Xiawei is the robotic player on the court.
It has a racquet that serves as its arm and is used to return the shuttlecock back to the human player with incredible agility - though it can only do basic forehand and backhand strokes.
Badminton Robot has a nifty lateral movement: It can cover the entire length of the badminton at a speed of 200km per hour.
According to Zhong, Badminton Robot was a created by a team from UESTC for a robotics competition in 2016.
It was designed for leisure and to serve as a training partner with stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision.
It is battery-powered and can play a game for two hours straight without charging.
In a nutshell, Badminton Robot uses a combination of cameras, motion sensors, and a unique navigation system to rack up wins.
But humans can easily beat Badminton Robot in a short game where the player has the ability to jump and deliver a strong forehand smash.
If the match extends for a longer time, Badminton Robot can tire out the player and win the game.
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