Robot Hands You Your Ass At Beer Pong

Guess who built this contraption? You’re right, college students. But as much as we like to make fun, the subject of Beer Pong is our addition, not theirs. The device uses an air stream that can be directed along two axis to control and sort ping-pong balls.

Unlike the lethal ping-pong ball launcher, the goal here is elegant control of the ball. They’ve achieved a great success. Watch the video after the break to see balls sorted into beakers by color, transferred to vessels over a large distance, and navigated through an elevated obstacle course. To give us a hint of what you can do with this, we see the machine controlling an apple, an onion, and a water bottle at the end of the video.


[Thanks Dan for sending the tip: The Foresight Institute]

31 thoughts on “Robot Hands You Your Ass At Beer Pong

  1. @deoryp

    Your title doesn’t make sense. Where are the robot hands?

    The original title, “Robot hands you your ass at beer pong”, is fine.

    The robot performs heroics. In other words, he hands you your ass on a silver platter.

  2. The consequent peeling of the onion while it is floating seems useful if it didn’t make a mess everywhere. Maybe if you were making onion rings or onion blooms outdoors with your turkey fryer…
    Anyways, I still think the whole project is really neat!

  3. That is pretty friggin’ awesome. The manipulation of the ball in the air and putting it on targets was impressive – I wonder how sensitive it is to a draft in the room? (Note I just watched the video, didn’t read the links).

  4. So why would anyone want to play against this robot at beer pong unless you want to get ripped really quickly. And what happens if you score against the robot do you pour the beer down his pneumatic throat only to have him spray it back at you…. I found it quite fascinating being able to manipulate a ball not only up and down but back and forth…

  5. @Dadum01,

    You can do the same trick with a household vacuum cleaner or shop vac. Connect the hose to the exhaust port, turn it on, and it blows air. With the hose held vertical, you can place light weight spheres in the air stream, just like they did in this video. After seeing a vacuum cleaner salesman at Sears do this back when I was a kid, I also did it with a beach ball and with a ping-pong ball.

    Of course if you wanted to automate it like theirs is, you would have to build the 2 axis platform and flow controller, and create a stereo vision system. But then you’d probably be trying to earn your degree in electrical engineering, too.

  6. wow look at how it HANDles the bottle at the end.
    Also the title of this story is apt, this thing would HAND you ur ass. as in school you a new one. It’ll beat you every time no matter what, is the jest that they’re trying to get across…

  7. “what does the title of this post mean?

    did you mean “Robot hands whoop your ass at beer pong”?”

    Not great grammar I have to admit but it is implying that the robot is handing you your ass (just a saying) at beer pong.


  8. @ Todd Grigsby – seeing as bouncing the ball is physics, i reckon they could calculate the exact spot to throw it so it bounces into the beaker instead (I’d actually like to see this)

    I’d also like to see it up-scaled so it could take people for a ride :D – throwing a person into a river would be rather cool

  9. The rules of Beirut and Beerpong are skewed enough that beerpong has become synonymous with Beirut, and no one in a college dorm is using ping pong paddles to play beerpong anymore. The bounce rule normally signifies a two-cup removal.
    I’m afraid that this robot could stack balls and gain trajectory/bounce information to win the game within one or two turns. Regardless, if you weren’t starting the game of beerpong/beirut, you’re screwed, and if you are starting, you must be flawless in your attempts.
    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

  10. TheJ, regardless of how much they overanalyze the title one thing is still the same.
    There is NOTHING wrong with the title, the ONLY thing SLIGHTLY wrong is the lack of a full stop (If you really want to go there).

    Anyway regarding the actual article, I love how complicated it is to exercise such a simple principle :P

  11. A number of years ago a friend of mine helped develop a system like this for sorting apples. The apple flowed down a conveyor and a series of air jets lifted each one up where it was examined by machine vision to determine variety and quality. If it was damaged or bruised, it was tossed- if it passed, it had a label applied (again by machine) and was sorted into the appropriate variety track. All this air-puff wizardry was to avoid bruising from excessive handling. very cool stuff!

  12. The way we play beer pong this thing would own. If you bounce it, they have to drink the beer it lands in. If you sink it no-bounce, and it stays in, they have to drink 3 including the one it lands in. If you spill one you drink the table and clean it up.

  13. In the north it is called beirut and beerpong is played with paddles on a ping pong table. In the south we just call is beer pong.

    Those are only clips of it making the shot I wonder how many times it missed

  14. To all those who said this title doesn’t make sense.. YES IT DOES.

    “hand you your ass” is a common term. It means basically whoop your ass and dominate you in a completely humiliating way.

    robot “hands you your ass” at beer pong. Learn common terms before you go on a hackaday insulting rampage.

    Go shove an arduino up your freshly handed ASS.

  15. Forget about the title ! Don’t complain about the title don’t defend it who cares. Many have missed the point entirely. That this machine has amazing control using cameras and an air jet of some sort.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.