University of Ljubljana – automate a table football game

igu-award-adm | July 23, 2020

Our team was tasked with producing a demonstration device that would be used to show the excellence and competence of our institution mainly for attracting new students. We decided to automate a table football game, where human players will be able to play directly against or with computerised players. We call it ‘KiberzBall’.



In order to automate the motion of the computerised player, we had to equip the system with, a) computer vision system and b) linear/rotary actuator system. While the a) is out of scope of this application, we used igus linear axis for achieving b).
We were looking for a solution that is compact, has enough capacity to hold and move the small servo motor for kicking motion and has low drag in order to maximize the achievable accelerations.
drylin eco axis met all those requirements – it was installed on its side, allowing for the drive motor to be positioned below it (occupying less space). Plastic adapters were designed and printed to both hold the axis in place and to mount the additional servo motor to the trolley.
An additional belt tensioner was designed to increase the belt tension and allow for stable operation under various levels of acceleration.

The biggest cost saving was initial investment – for the described application, we were initially offered a linear axis for 780 EUR by the local machine parts manufacturer. Linear axis drylin eco by igus which meets all our requirements and is even more compact is offered by igus for regular price of 150 EUR, resulting in 2,500 EUR saving (which is a very large portion of the complete project budget).
Moreover, the drylin eco axis features a much lower level of drag force, maximising the achievable acceleration for the rod with football players.

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For the ROIBOT Award we were looking for clever low-cost robotics applications based on igus® components with a fast payback time. We thank all participants for the numerous entries!
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