We all know that version one of a project is usually a stinker, at least in retrospect. Sure, it gets the basic idea into concrete form, but all it really does is set the stage for a version two. That’s better, but still not quite there. Version three is where the magic all comes together.
At least that’s how things transpired on [Shane Wighton]’s quest to build the perfect basketball robot. His first version was a passive backboard that redirected incoming shots based on its paraboloid shape. As cool as the math was that determined the board’s shape, it conspicuously lacked any complicated systems like motors and machine vision — you know, the fun stuff. Version two had all these elaborations and grabbed off-target shots a lot better, but still, it had a limited working envelope.
Enter version three, seen in action in the video below. Taking a page from [Mark Rober]’s playbook, [Shane] built a wickedly overengineered CoreXY-style robot to cover his shop wall. Everything was built with the lightest possible materials to keep inertia to a minimum and ensure the target ends up in the right place as quickly as possible. [Shane] even figured out how to mount the motor that tilts the backboard on the frame rather than to the carriage. A Kinect does depth-detection duty on the incoming ball — or the builder’s head — and drains pretty much every shot it can reach.
[Shane] has been doing some great work automating away the jobs of pro athletes. In addition to basketball, he has tackled both golf and baseball, bringing explosive power to each. We’re looking forward to versions two and three on both of those builds as well.
20 thoughts on “Third Time’s A Charm For This Basketball-Catching Robot”
You know if he could speed this up it would be perfect for batting cages or golfing ranges, just need one ball, catch it and return it to be hit again.
I’m not sure how much more he can speed this up. Better to have a curtain with a container at the bottom to catch baseballs/golf balls
I’m always amazed by the amount of tools those people have in the shed.
Plasma cutter, CNC mill, 3d printer, large stepper+controllers.
Yeah, I know what you mean, I got a flat head screwdriver I found on the street and some duct tape from the dollar store!
I am envious. wish I had duct tape.
Every time I see one of his videos, I can’t help but wonder how a guy that young can afford a place like that filled with those tools…Maybe it’s just basement envy…
Some are donated for review/sponsorship.
Also, I think he’s in his 30s. He only looks like he’s 12.
(1) he’s not that young and (2) he’s one of the lead engineers of the Formlabs SLA 3D printers. I would hope he gets compensated pretty well in that capacity!
I too drool at the tools. But I’m in Aus where all of those types of things cost way more than the usa..:-(
I’m in New York City, where those kinds of basements cost way more than in the USA
I’m in Osaka. If I want a basement, I have to rent the apartment below mine.
Isn’t it a H-bot configuration rather than Core -XY configuration that he uses?
It would be great to have a look at the code, but it seems that he does not publish the code.
I see this and think 2 things:
1) Who knew Beck was a hacker??
2) No way this guy has kids (yet)
In all seriousness, How is he getting the 3-d data?? Isnt that part of some video game sensor? Honestly his tool collection is super enviable, but the software impresses me the most. And yes, how does he have the coin for 100K$ worth of tools?
I figured it out!!! he got the cash and the cute wife by singing that
(no offense intended, Beck is as amazing a musician as this guy is
How about putting a trash basket or recycle bin as the “basket”. Some people miss and it’s on the floor.
Moving bowel so as to avoid missing… naw.
L shape. Ah Bresenham!
Friggin’ awesome. Deserves a Genius Award.
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