This robotic cue can turn anyone into a pool shark
February 22nd, 2021—
If you want to get better at billiards, the conventional wisdom is to practice. However, if you’re YouTuber Shane Wighton, you build a robotic cue to play the game for you.
His device looks like a cross between a pool stick, a sci-fi robot, and a heavily-modified weed wacker. Instead of precisely manipulating the cue, you just put it roughly in place, hit the trigger, and let it sink the shot.
The setup employs a servo/linkage-controlled platform for precise aiming, and a pneumatic actuator that pushes the tip into the selected ball when ready. An Arduino board is implemented to fire the actuator via a solenoid valve, and it can increase or decrease pressure with two other valves based on gauge input. Computer vision is used to sense ball and cue position, and the system even projects alignment guides and predicted trajectories on the table itself.