Blog Poolmania.es Back


Robots, a revolution in billiards

There will be a day when robots will do everything, including playing pool. Some engineers have already put to work designing some curious machines capable of putting in balls. They are still quite simple, but who knows if in a short time they will be a threat to us, the human billiard players. In today's article we talk about robots that play pool. Here we go! :)

Billiard is pure physics
Flat surface, stable playing field dimensions, all balls of the same size ... As you well know, physics and geometry are very important in billiards. Some engineers take advantage of this to develop these robots:
One of the first billarist robots that developed was the Deep Green Robot. As you can see in the video, the machine is able to place the balls in an exact point of the table, make shots and also calculate lines and trajectories with the augmented reality system:


Thomas Nierhoff did for his thesis an articulated robot that moves around the table like a human player. A camera located 3 meters high calculates in real time each line of fire and "helps" the machine to decide which shot is the best option at each moment:

And in Snooker? Are there also robots capable of making Maximum Breaks? At the moment there is no video to corroborate, but there are samples of devices that play the traditional English billiards, such as the robot ABB:

Another interesting prototype is Judith, who is not a player but the robot created by engineer Ben Varvil. At the moment it is only an initial creation, but the prototype already demonstrates its capabilities. The interesting thing is that the mechanism is hooked to the table itself and does not need to move around it to make the shots:

From Poolshark they managed to make the PR2 robot, designed to do housework, also play pool. For this they had to deal with technical issues such as developing a special grip and bridge system to hold the "cue", a ball detector, visualization systems, shot selector, etc. Very interesting too:

They do not think, they just run
The great advantage of machines is that, unlike humans, they do not think, they just execute. Therefore, the fear of failing, negative thoughts, emotions or being confused by noise or environmental issues are no longer important. Even so, robots are not infallible and, of course, they also fail because we program them, humans fail.

The interesting thing is not that they know how to put in balls, but that they can also have control over the planning of the game, the location for the next play or that they can apply different effects to the white one. All this complicates the task of programming the "intelligence" of the robot. A super robot would be the one capable of determining which is the best shot (the easiest or most efficient) in each moment.

Robots useful for the billarist
As a billiard player I would like to continue playing (and the robot does not take away the clear position), but it is true that we could take advantage of this type of technology to create robots that will throw a cable at the time of:

- Position the triangle

- Position the balls for training

- Put chalk on the billiard cue

- Act as referee

What do you think? Tell me in the comments what do you think of these machines and if you would like to see a match Earl Strickland vs Robot one day. Promise, right? :)