RoboKeeper Robotic Soccer Goalie

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Soccer training tool RoboKeeper, the Robotic Soccer Goalie, is an amazing feat of engineering and artificial intelligence.

RoboKeeper Robotic Soccer Goalie

Cameras capture the ball and its movements and direct the goalie to make an interception. But don’t get your hopes up. RoboKeeper’s technology drives a super fast and nearly impossible robot to score on.

Since the Soccer World Championship in 2006, Prof Dr Michael ten Hompel, leader of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik (IML) in Dortmund, and his team got the idea to build the world’s best goalie.

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They say the RoboKeeper can outperform every goal-keeper in the Champions League (as long as the teams play on his turf). But he has an unfair advantage. Two cameras recognize the complete ballistic curve of the ball and transmit its position to an image processing computer every 1/50 second.

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Combining the images from each camera produces a 3D position of the ball. Data is then sent to the motor control driving a high-tech and extremely robust aircraft gearbox which moves the RoboKeeper to the exact point of impact in under half a second. This high-performance technology enables the ‘keeper’ to deflect just about any ball and keep his record intact.

Robokeeper can be hired out for events or training camps. There are some interesting offsprings of Robokeeper currently under development as well, including a Wii controller version which lets you direct the ‘keeper. (www.robokeeper.com)

Published on 26 Feb 2010

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For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology.His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show.His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.