> Eight servo motors used to manipulate the handles of the foosball table
> A microcontroller to activate the servo motors and communicate with the computer
> An over-head mounted webcam to track the ball and players
> A computer to process the webcam images, implement artificial intelligence, and communicate with the microcontroller
Budget constraints for the prototype slowed the project some and kept its functionality to a minimum. Proper motors to move the players at a competitive speed were found to be very expensive, so lower-end servos had to be used.
While this particular implementation was limited by cost and time, a larger gear ratio would yield a faster playing robot, although doing so would cost more than the $500 base price (price without power supply & computer).
Step 1: Assembling the motor control board
When we implemented, the design, we split the motor controls into 2 circuits, though there is no advantage to doing so other than any particular cabling scheme used. The small blue board implements the PWM control circuitry, which is basically just a clocked PIC-12F with some specialized code.