Cassapa: Augmented Pool

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No good at pool? Never fear, Cassapa is here! [Alex Porto] has created an augmented reality system for playing pool, and it means almost anyone can make those cool trick shots!

Ca-what? Cassapa (“caçapa”) is a Portuguese word for pool table pocket. The software works by placing a webcam directly above the pool table for image recognition. Dedicated software interprets the image and identifies the position of the holes, borders, balls and the cue which can then be used to calculate game physics. A projector then projects the forecast physics and allows you to make tiny adjustments — updated in real-time — to make the perfect shot.

Unfortunately, having a big projector shining down on your pool table won’t exactly make anyone believe you’re actually good at pool. Although if you could combine this with Google Glass or any other vision augmenting goggles… that would be pretty cool. Well, you’d still be terribly dishonest and a cheater — but anyway, take a look at the video after the break.

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Pool-playing robot + ARpool

Enjoy losing at pool? Well the folks at Queen’s University just made it a whole lot easier. The Deep Green robot was created with the purpose of playing a flawless game, allowing it to beat even the most skilled human players. More than a couple of research papers have been written on the project. A ceiling-mounted Canon 350D tracks the position of all of the balls, in addition to another cue-mounted cam (for higher shot accuracy). Using a bunch of calculations, and a computer (probably more advanced than an Arduino), the Deep Green is able to strategize and play. Very well.

On a positive note, another team from Queens is working on a seperate but related project: ARpool (as in augmented reality). It was created to make playing pool easier. The website does not provide much info, but it seems to project different moves onto the pool table, allowing an inexperienced player to tell whether a shot is at all possible.

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