Scholarship contest idea: tennis bot
Tennis-bot serves to collect the dozens of tennis balls scattered on the court during a lesson. Using shape recognition, the robot continuously collects balls from the court and returns them to a hopper device. The tennis instructor retrieves balls from the top half of the hopper manually; the bottom half serves as a docking, recharging, and storage area for the robot. The robot's actions allow for a more continuous and productive lesson.
Balls on the court are sensed by shape and color recognition cameras on the bot and are then collected with velcro hook pads. To ensure only the tennis balls belonging to the bot's owner are collected, some sort of marking may be applied to the balls. A small storage area on top of the tennis-bot holds the balls temporarily until the robot returns to the main hopper and deposits them there. The bot may also incorporate a shooting device to return balls to players. During a lesson, most tennis balls are hit behind the instructor and end up between the base line and the fence. With a line recognition camera, tennis-bot will be able to limit its search to this area. To help the robot keep track of the its position and to aid more efficient ball retrieval, an internal map system will be used.