There have been quite a few successful attempts to create robotic air hockey opponents, but Andrew Khorkin has dedicated himself to a much harder task.
He’s managed to build a robot that can not only play table hockey, but one that can slap the puck into the net from almost anywhere on the board with incredible accuracy.
Table hockey is, by comparison, magnitudes more complex. The puck doesn’t glide as easily, and all the moving figures serve as obstacles, complicating its path and trajectory. Scoring is also a major challenge, as it requires the figures to spin their miniature sticks around with enough speed and force at the right time to send the puck hurdling toward the net. That’s why it’s taken Khorkin about 18 months to get to this point, but his work is impressive.