If you’ve ever played ping pong, table tennis, or beer pong, you know that it’s a struggle to hang on to the balls. [MaximeMonsieur] has designed a robot to handle picking them up so you don’t have to.
The robot is specifically designed to pick up ultra-light ping pong balls. To that end, it has a large spinning paddle that simply wafts the balls into its collector basket at the rear. The robot gets around with a simple two-motor drive system, relying on skid-steering with a castor wheel at the rear. An Arduino Uno runs the show, and navigates the robot around with the aid of ultrasonic sensors to avoid crashing into walls.
Overall, the robot shows the benefits of designing for a specific purpose. Such a design would likely be far less successful with other types of heavier balls, but for ping pong balls, the spinning paddle collector works great. We can imagine the robot being put to good use between sets to pick up all the lost balls around a table tennis court.