Young Sara Julio now has a strange -- yet formidable -- opponent to help improve her air hockey game: a robot that her dad engineered from 3-D printer parts.
Jose Julio recounted the months-long construction process on his blog -- all which began with a simple question: “How could I hack the components of a 3-D printer to make something different?”
The result, seen in action below, is a remarkable achievement in that it can detect the puck (by color) and smack it back to opponents at extreme speeds.
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Though technically complex, Julio noted that the robot is composed of “cheap and easily available” parts, including a PlayStation 3 camera, PC fans and other odds and ends.
While the robot is currently tricky enough to beat a child, an experienced adult -- like Julio himself -- can still triumph, he said. He has provided a detailed copy of the build manual so that other aspiring engineers can reconstruct or improve upon his creation.