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Hacker Dad Rigs Air Hockey Robot from 3-D Printer Parts

Hacker Dad Rigs Air Hockey Robot from 3-D Printer Parts
Image credit: Jose Julio/Youtube

Young Sara Julio now has a strange -- yet formidable -- opponent to help improve her air hockey game: a robot that her dad engineered from 3-D printer parts.

Jose Julio recounted the months-long construction process on his blog -- all which began with a simple question: “How could I hack the components of a 3-D printer to make something different?”

The result, seen in action below, is a remarkable achievement in that it can detect the puck (by color) and smack it back to opponents at extreme speeds.

Related: Hershey's Foray Into 3-D Printing Could Allow You to Be Your Own Willy Wonka

Though technically complex, Julio noted that the robot is composed of “cheap and easily available” parts, including a PlayStation 3 camera, PC fans and other odds and ends.

While the robot is currently tricky enough to beat a child, an experienced adult -- like Julio himself -- can still triumph, he said. He has provided a detailed copy of the build manual so that other aspiring engineers can reconstruct or improve upon his creation.

Related: Salary Negotiation Lessons From the NHL Lockout

Geoff Weiss is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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