A robot that can juggle five balls (w/ video)

Jun 02, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- You can add another check to the column of things that a robot can do that an average human can't. In this case the column we are getting beat out on is juggling. Students in the Department of Control Engineering at Prague’s Czech Technical University have created a robot that can juggle up to five balls at once, a feat that many human jugglers have problems with mastering.

The system creates balance by pairing the arms paired with and interesting system for ball management. Three linear motors are used, one is attached to each arm, to power the arms that slide up and down on vertical tracks, and the last one is used for a central collection unit. The collection unit is able to collect any balls that fall and send them back into the juggling cascade. Each arm is also equipped with circular grippers that move horizontally.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Arms, of course, are not all that you need in order to juggle. The system uses a high-speed camera in order to track the paths of the balls, though the majority of the actual calculations come not from the view, but from a feedback loop with data built into the motors. This means that the system only has to make minor changes on the fly, which significantly speeds the process.

Juggling robots are more than just cool. They are able to demonstrate the capability of robots to track and control items that are going at a high speed. The is already learning to work more efficiently, it originally began with only three balls and the research team was able to work its way up to five balls at the same time.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
A catapult operation mode


Explore further: A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

More information: dce.fel.cvut.cz/juggler/

Related Stories

Robotic arms: Rubbing elbows with robotics (w/ Video)

Mar 14, 2011

Brian Zenowich will sometimes spend his workdays doing a little arm-in-arm dancing. His dance partners manage to stay in step, duplicating his every move almost flawlessly. The "twist" here isn't the type ...

Space Robot Can Autonomously Reconfigure Itself

Jun 15, 2009

A robot designed to work in space should ideally be a Jack of all trades, with the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks by itself. By having one robot that can handle many jobs, astronauts can cut down ...

Recommended for you

A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

18 hours ago

In the hunt for signs of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370—which disappeared on March 8 after deviating for unknown reasons from its scheduled flight path—all eyes today turn to a company that got its start ...

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

Apr 16, 2014

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

Apr 16, 2014

Talk about your Craigslist finds! A team of student employees at The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) combined inspiration with innovation to make a $250 ...

Using robots to study evolution

Apr 14, 2014

A new paper by OIST's Neural Computation Unit has demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution. Published in PLOS ONE, Stefan Elfwing, a researcher in Professor Kenji Doya's Unit, has succes ...

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

blento
not rated yet Jun 02, 2011
Wow! A juggler! Amazing waste of time. Build a machine that, once the heavy weight is lifted, slides down on series of cogs until it reaches 2100rpm that can power a car alternator and 12V lights all around the house, where needed. Gravity assisted house lighting.
Then make it juggle. Damn.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Jun 03, 2011
The U.S. will have to employ millions of these machines to keep it's collapsing economy from crashing to the ground.
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (5) Jun 03, 2011
What about a robot that juggles its own balls?
Mayday
not rated yet Jun 03, 2011
Add a chainsaw and a few bowling pins and I think ya got something.
HealingMindN
not rated yet Jun 03, 2011
What about a robot that juggles 5 humans?
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Jun 03, 2011
I, For one, welcome our new Juggling Robot Overlords.
Mahal_Kita
not rated yet Jun 11, 2011
Wow! A juggler! Amazing waste of time.


Seems to me that it's an amazing machine which in a little time can pluck a fly from flight with chop sticks..
resinoth
not rated yet Jun 11, 2011
the stuff people spend time doing...
Fernando_Casas
not rated yet Jun 23, 2011
"An advanced civilization is one that can invest in research with no apparent practical use"

People tend to forget that science is also very playful in order to be creative. Others will see this and think of possible applications.

More news stories

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...