Design of a Smart Ping Pong Robot

IJIRST –International Journal for Innovative Research in Science & Technology| Volume 1 | Issue 10 | March 2015
ISSN (online): 2349-6010
Design of a Smart Ping Pong Robot
A.Thamemul Ansari
UG Student
Saranathan College of Engineering, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India
UG Student
Saranathan College of Engineering, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India
M.Hareesh Kumar
UG Student
Saranathan College of Engineering, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India
Assistant Professor
Saranathan College of Engineering, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India
In this paper, we have designed a Smart Ping Pong Robot. Here we are using this robot specifically for table tennis application,
where the player will able to play or practice without any opponent. This Robot automatically throws the ball where the player
can play against the Robot. In our design we have used a power supply to energize the actuator or crank shaft piston. The power
supply (230V AC) is converted to 12 volt DC. The electrical energy is converted into mechanical action of the crank shaft piston.
This piston is used to push the ball, which is fed from the basket to the end effector (Ball delivery). The ball at the end effector is
pushed outward by the wheel that is rotating at the speed of 1000 rpm. A DC wiper motor is fixed at the bottom of the disc when
that motor is energized; the disc is rotated to an angle of 45 degree left and to an angle of 45 degree right. So that the ball will be
delivered in Forehand and Forehand middle directions. This robot also gives Top spin, Side spin and Reverse spin of the ball.
Our Project design has a single degree of freedom that has a rotatory action to delivery balls at different directions. Thus, our
robot plays a positive role in the robot table tennis development.
Keywords: Table Tennis, Power supply, wheel, DC wiper motor, Forehand, Forehand middle, top spin, side spin reverse
A robot is a mechanical or virtual artificial agent, usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by a computer program
or electronic circuitry. Robots can be autonomous or semi-autonomous and range from humanoids such as Honda's Advanced
Step in Innovative Mobility (ASIMO) and TOSY's TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot (TOPIO) to industrial robots, collectively
programmed swarm robots, and even microscopic nano robots. By mimicking a lifelike appearance or automating movements, a
robot may convey a sense of intelligence or thought of its own.
However, the definition that has been accepted as reasonable in the present state-of-the-art is given by the Robotics Industries
Association (formerly the Robotics Institute of America) in November 1979. An industrial Robot has been defined as “a
reprogrammable multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools or specialized devices through various
programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks” [1].
Robots are known to save costs, to improve quality and work conditions, and also to minimize waste of resources. With
increased flexibility and ease of use, robots are at the dawn of a new era, turning them into ubiquitous helpers to improve our
quality of life by delivering efficient services in our homes, offices, and public places.
Robots can be classified based on the application, where the robot is employed. Such as Industrial Robots, Service Robot,
Educational Robot, Robots in Society, General-purpose autonomous Robots.
Industrial robots usually consist of a jointed arm (multi-linked manipulator) and an end effector that is attached to a fixed
surface. One of the most common type of end effector is a gripper assembly. The International Organization for Standardization
gives a definition of a manipulating industrial robot in ISO 8373." an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose,
manipulator programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation
applications"[2]. This definition is used by the International Federation of Robotics, the European Robotics Research Network
(EURON) and many national standards committees[3].
Most commonly industrial robots are fixed robotic arms and manipulators used primarily for production and distribution of
goods. The term "service robot" is less well-defined. The International Federation of Robotics has proposed a tentative
definition, "A service robot is a robot which operates semi or fully autonomously to perform services useful to the well-being of
humans and equipment, excluding manufacturing operations” [4].
Robots are used as educational assistants to teachers. From the 1980s, robots such as turtles were used in schools and
programmed using the Logo language[5][6].
There are robot kits like Lego Mind storms , BIOLOID, OLLO from ROBOTIS, or BotBrain Educational Robots can help
children to learn about mathematics, physics, programming, and electronics. Robotics have also been introduced into the lives of
elementary and high school students in the form of robot competitions with the company FIRST (For Inspiration and
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Design of a Smart Ping Pong Robot
(IJIRST/ Volume 1 / Issue 10 / 004)
Recognition of Science and Technology). The organization is the foundation for the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO
League, Junior FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST Tech Challenge competitions.
There have also been devices shaped like robots such as the teaching computer, Leachim (1974), and 2-XL (1976), a robot
shaped game / teaching toy based on an 8-track tape player, both invented Michael J. Freeman.
TOPIO, a humanoid robot, played ping pong at Tokyo International Robot Exhibition (IREX) 2009.
Roughly half of all the robots in the world are in Asia, 32% in Europe, and 16% in North America, 1% in Australasia and 1%
in Africa. [7]40% of all the robots in the world are in Japan, making Japan,[8] the country with the highest number of robots.
The General-purpose autonomous robots can perform a variety of functions independently. The General-purpose autonomous
robots typically can navigate independently in known spaces, handle their own re-charging needs, interface with electronic doors
and elevators and perform other basic tasks. Like computers, the general-purpose robots can link with networks, software and
accessories that increase their usefulness. They may recognize people or objects, talk, provide companionship, monitor
environmental quality, respond to alarms, pick up supplies and perform other useful tasks. The General-purpose robots may
perform a variety of functions simultaneously or they may take on different roles at different times of a day. Some such robots
try to mimic human beings and may even resemble people in appearance. This type of robot is called a humanoid robot.
Humanoid robots are still in a very limited stage, as no humanoid robot can, as of yet, actually navigate around a room that it has
never been in. Thus, humanoid robots are really quite limited, despite their intelligent behaviors in their well-known
Table tennis (also called ping pong) is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth using a table
tennis bat. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, players must allow a ball played
toward them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side. Points are
scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its
trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage. When doing so the hitter has a good chance of
scoring if the spin is successful.
Table Tennis is a typical continuous interacting sport, which can never be realized by a robot without fast and accurate
perception and control. As a classical real-time „eye-hand‟ platform, it has been attracting more and more interest from
researchers all over the world. The first Robot to realize table tennis playing was introduced by John Billingsley in 1983. Several
Robot systems for table tennis playing have been developed since. Many prototype systems were developed using industrial
robotic arms.
A. Smart Ping Pong Robot:
Basically, any sport needs two player or two team in order to play the game but unfortunately one player may feel interested to
play but other may not. In order to overcome this uncertainty we have designed a robot specifically for table tennis game. It has a
single degree of freedom. This robot throws the balls automatically in the interval of 1 second where the player will be playing
against this robot. Existing table tennis robot has been designed using a microcontroller and some other programming unit. But
in order to reduce the cost and complexity we have designed a Ping-Pong robot using mechanical parts. Crank shaft piston is
used as a Manipulator which is excited or driven by a 12volt DC supply (actuator). A wheel is used as an end-effector which
throws out the ball very fast. The ball will fall on the table tennis board and pitch toward the player.
Major components used in our design are: DC motor, PVC pipe, DC wiper motor, wheel, basket.
Dc motor is used to energize the crank shaft (Manipulator) which moves back and forth and pushes the ball outward to the end
effector. Specifications of this motor are: 12volt, 1A, 1000 rpm.
DC wiper motor is used to rotate the metal disc, which is allowed to rotate the disc in an angle of 180 degree. By this
mechanism we get one degree of freedom. Specifications of this motor 12volt, 40w, 1-1.5A, 40 rpm.
PVC pipe is used for the piston action, and it is used to feed the balls. It also acts as the passage for the ball to be outwardly
delivered. Mild Steel of 3inch thickness and 225 diameter is used as the end effector which is rotated in this mechanism and it
rotates the disc at an angle of 180 degree. The Mild steel of 6mm thickness is used as the base that holds the whole body.
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Design of a Smart Ping Pong Robot
(IJIRST/ Volume 1 / Issue 10 / 004)
B. Implementation:
Fig. 1: Block Diagram of Smart Ping Pong Robot
Primarily, the crank shaft for the piston arrangement is designed. The piston is designed with the PVC pipe material. The piston
is designed in such a manner that it will push one ball at a time.
Fig. 2: Smart ping pong Robot
The disc is drilled for diameter of 5mm and the bolt is fitted to that drill. At the top of the screw a bolt is welded. The shaft of the
wiper motor is inserted into the hole (bolt) and it is screwed. When the motor is switched ON, the shaft goes back and forth. This
back and forth motion touches the bolt and it moves the disc to rotate at an angle of 45 degree to left and to right.
Basket which has the capacity to hold 80-100 balls is fitted at the top of the manipulator. In order to push the ball one by one
to manipulator, a gear motor with 60 rpm is kept at the bottom of the basket. The shaft of the motor is designed in such a way
that it feeds the ball one by one down to manipulator and it feeds only one ball at the time. The piston forces or pushes the ball to
the end-effector.
A PVC pipe at the end-effector is carved to fix the wheel which is coupled with the motor shaft that is rotated when the motor
is energized. The arrangement to hold the motor is made at the side of the PVC pipe. The wheel is placed in such a way that it
touches the upper surface of the ball. When the motor is switched ON, the ball at the end-effector is delivered in a rapid manner
towards the player.
This robot gives Top spin, Side spin, and Reverse spin of the ball depending upon the wheel position. If the wheel is place at
the top as shown in figure 3 gives a top spin of the ball. If the wheel is fixed at the bottom as shown in the figure 4 gives the
reverse spin of the ball. If the wheel is fixed at the side it gives the side of the ball.
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Design of a Smart Ping Pong Robot
(IJIRST/ Volume 1 / Issue 10 / 004)
Fig. 3: Top Spin
Fig. 4: Reverse Spin
Fig. 5: Side Spin
The central result of our research is that design of smart ping pong robot. Thus, we have designed a smart ping pong robot which
has overcome the problem faced by the other robots that has been designed in electronic platform. Thus by this design, we have
achieved a robot with high performance at low cost compared to other robots. Thus, our robot will be helpful for the table tennis
player to improve their skills. Since our design is in mechanical platform, problem that could occur in electronic platform
(circuitry problem) can be avoided.
S.R Deb “Robotics Technology and flexible automation “Tata McGraw-Hill comp Ltd. 2008
"Definition of a robot" . Dansk Robot Forening. Archived from the original on 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
"Robotics-related Standards Sites". European Robotics Research Network. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
Provisional definition of Service Robots English, 27th of October 2012
Mitgang, Lee (October 25, 1983). "'Nova's' 'Talking Turtle' Pofiles High Priest of School Computer Movement". Gainesville Sun.
Barnard, Jeff (January 29, 1985). "Robots In School: Games Or Learning?". Observer-Reporter (Washington). Retrieved March 7, 2012.
Robots Today and Tomorrow: IFR Presents the 2007 World Robotics Statistics Survey; World Robotics; 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-12-14
Reporting by Watanabe, Hiroaki; Writing and additional reporting by Negishi, Mayumi; Editing by Norton, Jerry; Japan's robots slug it out to be world
champ; Reuters; 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-01-01
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