Gadget Daddy: Computer takes on college students … in foosball

Computers are gaining artificial intelligence. Computers programmed to play chess and Go have already beaten world champions at those games. Zzzzz-z-z-z-z-z. Hey! Wake up! A computer just beat some humans at foosball. Ah! Now that I have your attention … For the uninitiated, foosball is a soccer-like table game. Human players spin rods to which little plastic men are attached. They, in turn, bat the ball around until it goes into the opposing team’s goal. Last semester, Brigham Young University engineering students modified a foosball table by mounting a camera about its center to track the movement of the ball, while servo-motors run by a computer moved and spun the foosball players. Six undergraduate students worked on the project under the direction of D.J. Lee, a professor in the university’s…


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