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Computer powered low cost 3 head TT Robot

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    Posted: 08/28/2019 at 7:49am
A few months back I had posted about a robot we were building as we were frustrated waiting for Trainerbot . A few of our friends wanted one so we spent some more time to bring it to a stage for people to use.

Please take a look at our Table Tennis Robot and let me know if you have any questions.

We have used laser cut and 3d printed parts along with a raspberry pi to power the robot. 

As far as I am aware this is probably the first robot to be powered by a computer. We are able to add features easily.

 We have a webserver and database running on the server and a user connects via wifi and can use any mobile device or even a laptop to control.

If there is interest it is easy to add a low cost camera as well as voice control.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/31/2019 at 1:02pm
Thanks for sharing, it is amazing that you went "screw it! I am tired of waiting, I'm just going to do it." your team is the real deal indeed.

You made something that is unique in the sense a computer controls the whole thing, meaning the number of possibilities for evolution are immense. Congratulations just for that framework, I wish I can clearly see that wide scope though, so far I have an opaque big picture of it due to a lack of technical knowledge but I can understand that if it's programmable, it could evolve anywhere unlike those stone tablets with instructions written on it that describe the existing robots.

The critics are coming, here are a couple I anticipate:

-even though your device is vastly superior from an intellectual standpoint due to the wide path that you open, many people are going to say that what it does right now is already done by existing robots, inferior or not. Unfair, narrow minded but true. 

-one wheel means same spin, always; if not a second wheel of a rotating head, it will remain at the level of what has been on market for a while, even though (again) it is better conceived. 

The beauty is that adding another wheel, making the one wheel rotating on the fly (during the rally) or even adding a 2nd computer working hand in hand with the 1st cannot be the end of the world (for you); the 3rd solution is especially true for people who already built the 1st. I do not mean to raise myself to your level, I just assume if you did it once, you can do it twice (they should do that with the JWST right away btw; no! make it 3 please, that over engineered overdue thing will not work on its 1st shot), the 2nd one will throw underspin and then the app can ask the 1st or 2nd robot to throw a ball. 

Yes, a rotating head seems more elegant but 2 robots working hand in hand have that team spirit written all over it, not counting the added complexity of a rotating head means trouble and the specter of over engineering is showing its tail. I am all for adding blocks, adding simple robots. think about those huge diesel internal combustion engines to which we can add cylinders, changing the crankshaft and distribution/timing.

Thinking a bit more about that, I'd prefer the multiple robots option with a head that can rotate but only before we play (like the newgy), that way, we get ONE SIMPLE DEVICE that we can multiply, we keep hardware simplicity high and the complexity is in the software. We can even install 5 robots (top,under,top,under,top) and we can design drills where the ball may come from different places. The software will adapt and identify another device has been attached to the existing one(s). (dang it, I am setting myself up: "hey stiltt, what a great idea can you write that software please?")

Note that people like you who have a career already and maybe debt (house payments or related business) can't afford to invest in complex hardware development but with ONE simple and reliable device like you have, the software development to make a ping pong robots daisy chain work is within your reach. A ping pong robots daisy chain, I am in.
 
That's about it, you are so close to making something REALLY useful, add to that an interface so us the common people can feel like programmers designing drills (spin, speed, location) and you get a big winner: people may buy the 1-unit starter and upgrade later.

Thanks again for taking the time to share.


Edited by stiltt - 08/31/2019 at 3:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ericd937 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/31/2019 at 8:28pm
Price point $375! Well done. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote qpskfec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/01/2019 at 1:30am
The iPong v300 now sells for under $150 on Amazon.

How much better is the $375 machine? What duty cycle has it been designed to? What is the warranty?

The iPong uses an IR remote to change settings. Trap the button press IR signals from the iPong remote to get all the IR commands. Attach an IR blaster to a phone/tablet, write an app to issue the commands, now you have an "app driven" remote control for the iPong.

A more advanced project is to reverse engineer the commands used by existing robots like newgy, butterfly, etc. Replace the controller with a rasp pi controlled by an app/browser. Now you have a well known robot that is app controlled.

There is no doubt that robots makers are looking at their own solutions to doing this.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote palguay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/02/2019 at 1:33am
Thanks for your encouraging words and I think you are the first one who actually understands the potential of what can be done :-).

I will try to go through a couple of points and put in my thoughts
 
 -even though your device is vastly superior from an intellectual standpoint due to the wide path that you open, many people are going to say that what it does right now is already done by existing robots, inferior or not. Unfair, narrow minded but true.

  From a user stand point it does not make a difference if the robot is run by a computer or something else. Other robots do what it does right now but for me to add things like a camera to record, voice commands to operate and a tutorial to improve a particular stroke, These things will take at most a couple of weeks whereas the existing robots will require a significant redesign to incorporate these features. 
 
- As far as multiple robot option 
   This is a really interesting thought that I think should be looked at, while this is a really complex project I think with the foundation we have it is possible. For this to happen it requires a few people coming together and work for a few years (assuming they part time on this). 

 I will start thinking of what you have proposed and will look at the possibilities.

Thanks for sharing .


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote palguay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/02/2019 at 2:12am
Thanks for the questions, I'll try to answer them

  I do not own an ipong so not sure what it can or cannot do, take a look at the dynamic drills section . I can setup a drill that is like (service to middle, backspin to backhand, topspin to forehand) and this drill can be setup by a mobile device. Can the ipong can do this?

As far as the warranty, we will add that to the website but the plan as of now is to provide warranty for 6 months (but not sure, this will be updated when we start shipping outside of our city).

 As far as duty cycle it runs parts that are easily available all over the world as well as the materials can be 3d printed, laser cut by users. this makes it easy for users to replace parts if something breaks down.

As far as reverse engineering, we are thinking about it but for us it is more satisfying to create something. Even if we reverse engineer, just reverse engineering what they have because doing that will only make it "app driven" is not of interest to us. If we are going to spend time it would rather be to add features like having users ability to set up drills.

I think this comes to the preference of individual users, some may prefer existing robots.An ipong is an ideal robot for a lot of users.

We are not claiming to be the best or anything like that, it is mostly "hey we built something that works for us, these are the features, if you think this works for you, here are the details"

Thanks for your questions.


Edited by palguay - 09/02/2019 at 3:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote palguay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2019 at 9:30am
Updated design and video showing drills

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Static Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2019 at 9:36am
Originally posted by palguay palguay wrote:

Updated design and video showing drills


Video unavailable for me. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote palguay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2019 at 10:08pm
Sorry, I don't know why it does not work from this thread, the link is correct. 
The only thing I could make out was the "N" in the code is replaced to "n" in the link (maybe a bug in the parsing). 

You can look at it from our table tennis robot website though


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2019 at 11:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2019 at 11:52pm
I am in India. Let me know when you are ready with a product and I will put up the money.
I am a little bit skeptical in investing on pre-orders as my money is still stuck with trainerbot, which I will probably never get.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote palguay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2019 at 1:54am
ashishsharmaait, I understand. I too have invested in trainerbot and started this project after waiting for years. We are currently shipping locally in our city to fix any issues that comes across. You can contact me via the website http://pingpong-robot.com

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