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Awesome dad turns 3D printer into air hockey opponent for daughter

airhockeyrobot [1]

Jose Julio’s daughter loves air hockey. So as any amazing Dad with DIY know-how and tinkerer skills would do, he built her a robot air hockey opponent — by converting a 3D printer. The printer’s parts were repurposed and he used an Arduino-controlled system for its vision. According to Julio, the robot has enough precision and speed to beat a child, but with some small improvements, it may even be difficult for an adult to win against it.

Based on the idea of use standard RepRap 3D printer parts : NEMA17 stepper motors, drivers, Arduino Mega, RAMPS, belts , bearings, rods, printed pieces … I started to develop the project. The main advantage of use these parts is that they are cheap and easily available. First I started with the construction of the air hockey table. I choose a medium size (my house is small, ;-)) I wanted something easily transportable but comfortable to play. The final dimensions are 100x60cm.

I Bought some wood boards and wood slats and began to mount the table. First I started to build and airless version but it really lacks the feeling so I decided to make a table with air. I tried different possibilities until I test a very simple combination with 2 old PC fans that works very well. I made the table holes (it seemed a hard work but it was not so hard) and I now I had a fully playable Air Hockey table! Time to enjoy it an play!!

Julio has posted the code on GitHub [2] and is open to all contributions to the project. You can see the air hockey robot in action below:

[via Boing Boing [3]]