Autonomous Robots Use Wii Sensors to Play Hockey

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Image via YouTube screenshot.

This looks like so much more fun than any final exam I ever took. To show their wits, University of Pennsylvania students designed teams of three little robots on wheels to play hockey against one another. The teams faced off in the coolest test ever, for the rights to something better than any A: the Robockey Cup.

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No remote controls are involved- each “player” has sensors taken from Wii remotes to detect the puck, other robots and its own position relative to the goals. To shoot, they have pistons to propel the puck forward. The programming required to direct a robot to score a goal is impressive- especially when you add in the element of defense.

The students were in the Design of Mechatronic Systems class at Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In the championship match of the annual tournament, one robot hit a slap shot from center court for the fastest- and best- goal of the competition.

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