This Badminton Robot Is a Formidable Opponent
Human badminton players have met their match. As Gizmodo reports, this robot from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China was built to move autonomously around the court and return nearly every shot that comes its way.
The machine, created by a group of college students and professors, is reportedly the world's first fully automated badminton robot, and it has already gone head-to-head with some of the sport's greatest competitors.
When tracking incoming serves, the robot uses a pair of high-definition cameras. It wirelessly transmits stereo images to an external computer for processing, and then uses that information to calculate the trajectory of the approaching target. Depending on the type of serve, it gets into position and swings one of its two rackets to volley the shuttlecock back over the net.
What's even more impressive than its crystal clear foresight is the robot's ability to navigate through space. Designing a robot to have a sense of direction indoors is notoriously difficult, but according to the creators of this device, it never loses track of its location.
From computerized umpires to bionic limbs used by disabled athletes, there are plenty of ways that technology can help enhance sports. (Hopefully this badminton bot can be used as a practice tool rather than replacing human players altogether—we still want to play.) You can watch the robot in action in the video above from CCTV English.
All images courtesy of CCTV English via YouTube.
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