Computer tracking of billiard balls

The folks at the London-based startup GoCardless have a pool table at their office. Being the techies they are, they decided to build a system that automatically scores games. The results, while not fully complete, are still pretty impressive for something whipped up during a 48 hour hackathon.

The automated score keeper uses a webcam duct taped to the ceiling right above the center of the pool table, The balls – red and yellow balls replace the rainbow of solids and stripes to make things easier – are found using OpenCV.

This build isn’t quite finished yet. The people at GoCardless are looking to improve the accuracy of their setup by using a camera with a higher frame rate and possibly moving on to physics simulation to predict where the balls should be. If these guys get the time, they could add something like augmented reality pool table to improve shot accuracy.

Vidia after the break.

Comments

  1. Isaac says:

    Did something similar for a third year engineering course: http://goo.gl/l1SWd . OpenCV is a hell of a lot of fun. I also suspect they could have been able to get reasonable results with the rainbow balls, although perhaps not as accurate.

  2. Alistair says:

    Red and yellow balls are not used “to make things easier”. It’s because British pool is not American pool.

  3. hmarr says:

    We actually started out with a set of spotted and striped balls as we previously had an American table. We replaced them with a set of red and yellow balls on the day partly to make the tracking easier, and partly to be better Brits ;)

  4. hmarr says:

    We actually started out with a set of spotted and striped balls as we previously had an American table. We replaced them with a set of red and yellow balls on the day partly to make the tracking easier, and partly so we felt like ‘proper’ Brits ;)

  5. jb says:

    Very cool but this is snooker, not American “pool”

  6. Galane says:

    Do they have a sign on the wall that says “Not responsible for ball failure”?

  7. JimC1858 says:

    Very nice. Good luck with simulations. A lot of variables to consider there. Spin imparted to position the CB can make the ball go a lot of different places for the same initial path.

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