Introduction: AirHockey Robot With Zybo FPGA Board


Today we'll learn how to build an AirHockey Robot ( table included ) based on Jose Julio's approach.

Here is a video about how all of this started:

Things you'll need:


  • 1x Digilent ZYBO Zynq™-7000
  • 3x Stepper Motor Driver A4988 with heatsinks
  • 3x Stepper Motor NEMA17
  • 1x Pixy (CMUcam5)
  • 2x Carbon tube ( 8x1mm, 65cm )
  • 2x Stainless steel rods (8mm, 46cm)
  • 1x 5m T5 (or GT2) belt
  • 4x Linear bearings LM8UU
  • 3x 608 bearings
  • small nylon tag fasteners
  • set 3D printed parts
  • cables and connectors
  • external PC power supply


  • wood thread screws
    • x50 2.5x16mm
    • x50 3x30mm
    • x20 3x20mm
  • metric thread screws
    • x16 M3x6mm
    • x8 M3x12mm
    • x24 M3 washers
    • x16 M3 nuts
    • x8 M4x12mm
    • x8 M4 nuts
  • wood boards
    • x2 1000x600x2.5 mm MDF ( white finish on one side )
  • sold wood slats
    • x2 44x18mm x1m
    • x3 44x18mm x56cm
    • x2 12x18mm x90cm
    • x4 12x18mm x12cm
    • x4 12x18mm x6cm
  • 2x PC fan (120mm, 12V, 0.8A or greater)
  • hot glue gun
  • drill and drill bits 1mm and 1.5mm
  • jigsaw to open the fan holes
  • time and dedication
  • x1 friend

Step 1: Step 1: Building the Air Hockey Table

1. Assemble the frame with wooden slats as shown in the picture. Use 3x30mm screws to attach the slats, one screw centered at the ends and two screws in the central reinforcement. It is always preferable to mark before with a pencil, then drill with a 1.5mm drillbit (to prevent the wood break) and then insert the screws. Use one of the 100x60cm boards to make sure you assemble it properly aligned. The screw heads must not protrude beyond the wood, we screw them until they are fully embedded in the wood.

2.Screw the 100x60cm board to the frame with some 2.5x16 screws (see photo). Start placing screws around the corner at 3cm from the edge and then approximately at 20cm distance (measure and make marks first, then drill with 1.5mm drillbit and then insert the screws)

3.Now it´s time to open the air holes in the table. We are going to prepare a wood guide. The guide will be a 60x18x5mm wood slat with the holes. First let's mark the position of the holes. Leave a space of 3.75 cm at the edges and then mark every 2.5cm. In total we should have 22 marks. Now we make the holes with 1mm drillbit (Make sure the drill is well leveled)

4.Now it´s time to make the marks in the board flanges. Important, start from the center of the table (measure it) and make the first mark at 12.5mm on each side of table center. The idea is that in the center we will NOT make holes because we have the center wood slat. Now make marks on the board every 25mm until the edge where we leave a gap of about 6cm. We would have a total of 36 marks in the table (18 on each side of center)

5. Place the guide aligned with the marks, secure with tape on each side, press the guide against the table with your hand and started to drill the holes with the 1mm drillbit (22 in each row). We move the guide to the next mark, secure with the tape again and continue making holes ... Looks like a huge work but it´s not so hard (less than 40 minutes)
Tip: Prepare everything to be on a high and comfortable posture.

6.Once finished the holes in the table, we will cover the slats on the backside of the table with EVA foam or rubber insulation strips.

7. We seal the table on the backside with the hot glue gun so the air could not escape.8.On the other 100x60cm board, we will prepare the big holes for the fans. Mark a line on the center of the table. Mark with a pencil the fans in the center of the table. at 19 cm from centerline.

9.Drill the holes for the fan M4 screws and also open a hole to insert the blade of the jig saw. With the jigsaw (or marquetry saw) open the center hole of each fan.

10.Now it's time to prepare the hockey sides To do this we take the 12x18 slats and cut the following measures:

2 90cm for sides

4 12cm for rear parts, alongside the goals

4 6cm for corners

11.Now we can screw it into the top of the table. As always first measure, mark, drill a hole and then insert the 3x30 screws. We will begin with the two long sides (90cm), then the back pieces and the corners.

Step 2: Step 2: Building the Robot