September 16, 2011

Unbeatable Robot Goalie


A German company has developed something quite remarkable and at the same time utterly hilarious.

Prof. Dr. Michael ten Hompel and his team had the ambition to RoboKeeper - a machine better than every goal keeper in the Bundesliga and as fast as any Formula 1 racing car. Here's RoboKeeper in action:

Here's a description of how it works from the company's website:

Two cameras recognize the complete ballistic curve of the ball and transmit its position to an image processing computer every 1/50 second. Based on the images from both cameras it defines the three-dimensional position of the ball. The data are then sent to the motor control driving a hightech aircraft gearbox which moves the RoboKeeper to the exact point of impact. This high-performance technology enables the keeper to hold on to any ball.

The required speed of the complete facility, changing lighting conditions and the impact of the shot transformed a simple penalty kick into an exciting scientific project.
After all, the RoboKeeper has just half a second to fulfill all this complex tasks before holding on to the ball.

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