DT & Engineering Blog: Omron Ping-Pong Robot

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Soon after the development of the ping-pong robot began, Omron engineers were able to make the robot move the paddle based on the calculations of the sensor and controller.

But no matter how many times it tried, the robot kept missing the ball. It couldn’t even return the ball to the opponent. If a human player is playing with another human player, it is rather easy to maintain a ping-pong rally. However, an extremely high level of technology is required if a rally is to be maintained between a human player and a machine.

The ball a player hits is first detected by the sensor, which then calculates how it should be returned. The controller then controls the robot so as to hit the ball according to the calculated data. This control is extremely precise, with a resolution of 1/1,000 of a second.

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