By Jonathan Kimak
Researchers at Queen’s University have created a robot that can play a decent game of pool, billiards or snooker. Dubbed Deep Green(likely a nod to the chess playing computer Deep Blue) the robot is ceiling mounted and uses a Global Vision System to see all the balls on the pool table. It also has a Local Vision System which detects objects in front of the cue ball so as to better select the right shot.
The robot can produce power from none to 3 m/s for the average shot and up to 12 m/s for the initial breaking shot using a pneumatic break cue actuator.
There have been pool playing robots around since the 1980’s but this one is touted as the best of the best. It is ranked at slightly above amateur status for now but improvements are being made constantly so that eventually the robot could become a true pool shark.
With the name Deep Green it’s clear the designers want it to eventually challenge a true professional in some televised(and sponsored) matches.