Meet a one-armed, two-ball-juggling robot

Cameras track location of balls in midair

In this video, courtesy of IEEE Spectrum, we see a "Two Ball Juggling with High-speed Hand-Arm and High-Speed Vision" robot, developed by two Japanese researchers at Chiba University. The robot can juggle two balls for about five seconds before it misses, mainly because the ball in the air moves slightly. But still, it's pretty impressive when you consider that there are sensors and cameras that track the ball's movement in the air, and juggling two balls with one hand is still pretty tricky for humans.

You can read more about the project here. A report from the IEEE Spectrum blog has more details, including the point that it can't juggle for a long time because the robot "is restricted to what's essentially a two-dimensional vertical plane of operation, so anytime a ball drifts even a little bit sideways, the robot can't get to it." But it looks like this can be solved by researchers by doing either a new throwing motion, or figuring out how to create a "shoulder joint" that could allow the arm to move in a third dimension.

The best part? When the other robots take over the world, they can relax by watching this robot juggle for fun!

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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