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Special Applications : Badminton robot(first in the world)

The first Badminton robot in the World! A pitch of 5.18 by 13.4 meter, speeds of 421 km/hour, response time of only a fraction of a second en accelerations of at least 16 m/s2. Badminton is the most dynamic racket sport in the world. It is an enormous challenge to perform this sport by a robot. Flanders’ Mechatronisch Technology Centre (FMTC) in Leuven Belgium accepted this challenge.

It is not a goal to become World champion Badminton with this robot. FMTC developed this first Badminton robot in the World for research and demonstration of new technology.

For practical reasons is chosen for a non mobile robot with a solid drive. Building the drives and motion for this robot they used standard technology like a linear motor and two servo motors of maxon motor in combination with planetary gearboxes of Apex Dynamics. Due to this decision the robot has a reach of 1.5 meter high and 6 meter wide. The robot always returns high and smashing is impossible.

badminton-robotIt is impressive to see how much the robot can return.The robot consists of three functional blocks: location, interception and drive. Although the localization of the badminton shuttle and the interception algorithm to allocate and define the orbit of the shuttle is very complex and high technology, for Apex Dynamics of course the drives are the most interesting part. Especially the two axes of rotation. These two rotational axes are provided with 250 W motors from maxon motor benelux BV. In combination with the AE-series planetary gearboxes from Apex Dynamics, these two motors take care for rotating and the swing of the racket. Once the interception point is determined the robot stops and waits until the calculated time of interception. At that time the mechanism is activated to return the shuttle. In the movie below you can see the robot in action:

Experienced badminton players have responded with great enthusiasm. At this moment the robot has the level of a junior badminton player but could be much better. The further development of such a challenge provides much useful information on technology, that is the drive for FMTC to continue. It is considered to develop a mobile robot that covers the entire field. It will be clear, after reading this article and seeing the movie, this is a high dynamic application. That is why the planetary gearboxes from Apex Dynamics fit so well in this match.

If you want to know more about Apex Dynamics different kind of applications, please contact us.

With regards to Mr. Andrei Bartic of FMTC and maxon motor benelux BV