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.
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.