RoboHockey Completed

We wanted to thank you all for your help with our Senior Design RoboHockey project to make an autonomous opponent for air hockey.
Several of you requested that we let you know how it turned out. We went with a CMUcam2, some interesting python programming and it works great defensively. Here's a video for those interested. Next year I beleive a team is going to be working on getting it to do a better job of hitting it back. It handles pucks atleast upto 20mph.
David Fowler RoboHockey Team Leader University of Minnesota
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DaveFowler wrote:

Hmmmmmm. What's the point of playing air hockey if the robot has no way of gettings its fingers jammed by having them accidentally overhang into the play field!!
Seriously, looks very nice. Immpressive that it can handle pucks to 20 MPH. Out of curiosity, what is the average speed of a puck being driven into its goal?
-- Gordon
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"Out of curiosity, what is the average speed of a puck being driven into its goal? "
Not sure which goal you are refering to as 'its' goal. The one it is defending or the one it is hitting to. For defending, 20MPH is about as fast as you can hit the puck on our fairly cheap table. On larger tables we have read that you play at around 50MPH and professionals play at speeds around 80. The CMUcam2 is capable at working at 50fps with windowing, but for this application it would either need to be raised another 5 feet above the table or must use a different lense. We were only able to get the 25fps working for the time we had for the project. Hopefully the team after us will be able to use the full 50fps.
If you meant the goal it is hitting to, there were two senior design teams working on this project. One worked on the mechanics of the arm and the other on the vision and future prediction. The arm team used a solenoid to hit the puck and it so far does not hit the puck back very well. The kicker is not very stable so much of the power in the solenoid goes into wabbling the kicker up and down. Also I think an electromagnetic solenoid or a complete switch to a two servo arm might be necessary.
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Professional air hockey players?
Mitch