Robot juggler sure handles a lot of balls

This robot juggler, pictured above during its appearance at Amper 2010, can keep five balls in the air at once. It was designed by the Department of Control Engineering at the Czech Technical Institute in Prague. We know it doesn’t look like much in that still image, but the two videos embedded after the break are pure gold.

To arms on vertical tracks do the juggling. They can move up and down on said tracks, and circular grippers attached to each can pivot horizontally. A third actuator resides at the bottom of the machine, collecting any balls that might drop, and launching them back into the realm of the juggling hands. A high-speed camera facilitates object tracking in much the same ways that it’s been used for quadcopter control.

The objects being thrown around in that protective enclosure are billiards balls. We guess the added mass helps to dampen any small irregularities in the throw or the catch.





  1. Unknown says:

    “To arms on vertical”

  2. Unknown says:

    “They can move up and down on said tracks,”

  3. Robot says:

    It is not high speed camera, I have been talking to the guys at the show. They have models of balls, and predict where the balls are in the space/time.

    There is a bug in the machine – 3rd arm does have some problem in movement, and doesn’t throw the ball according to the model all the time. The ball will miss it’s windows and fall. Maybe some grease would help :)

    There is a big 19inch rack standing next to the “robot”, that contains all the electronics needed for the fun.

  4. TheCreator says:

    I like how it uses real time tracking rather then predetermined physics.

  5. Hackerspacer says:

    Could this technology be applied to erm… adult machines? My “friend” wants to know.

  6. Peanut says:

    i just imagine its powerful tiny juggling fists pummelling me into oblivion………

  7. neorazz says:

    just great another robot that’s better at something than me…er.

    i for one welcome our robot overlords!!!!
    lest they find chainsaws and be controlled by the skynet

  8. balls says:

    Holy cow.. No juggling in my neighborhood after 8pm and before 7am.. HOA noise ordinance. That thing’s LOUD!

  9. vonskippy says:

    And thus the first remote extension of Skynet is born…

    Help us John Conner, you’re our only hope.

  10. RandomReader says:

    thats grate ^_^

    off topic but id love to see the first roller coaster that fires you off its track catching you again carrying right on

  11. Hackerspacer says:

    id love to see the first roller coaster that fires you off its track catching you again carrying right on

    id love to see the first lawsuit that resulted when it missed

  12. BrmLab says:

    Cheers from :-)

  13. ean bool says:

    @Hackerspacer… I’ve been bending my mind in every direction but… what possible applications (in terms of ‘adult’ machinery) could your ‘friend’ have had in mind?
    I wouldnt let this thing juggle my balls, i’ll tell you that much

  14. Olivier says:

    @Hackerspacer : Why ? There are some girls who can manage much more balls than this machine.

  15. twopartepoxy says:

    very impressive.
    20 years ago, i would have said this was the stuff of science fiction. the noise sounds like something out of a david cronenberg film.

    how long do people think it will be before countries are routinely using robots (not just uavs) in warfare, either autonomously (scary) or remotely. I’m saying less than ten years.

  16. Stevie says:

    Is there any brain to it or does it simply assume that the balls will always take the same route/time?

  17. jukus says:

    Anyone else get slightly annoyed every time someone goes on about skynet? Meh, maybe I just need some coffee, cool robot, though if what @Robot says is true…its lost its coolness. I would be really impressed if it could handle new ball models on the fly (lighter/more bouncy/oddly shaped).

  18. cliff says:

    @ twopartepoxy

    US Army already has remote control tracked weapons platforms and is using them in several places.

  19. m says:

    You would hardly find a more useless system, maybe just the leavemealonebox would pass.

  20. max says:

    In the next decade, I foresee millions of jugglers losing their jobs as CEOs opt for automated systems like this.

    On the plus side, the increased efficiency of production will flood the juggling market, dropping consumer prices significantly.

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