College of Engineering
Computer Engineering Department
BS in Computer Engineering
The purpose of our project is to allow players to hit baseballs on a baseball field and not have to worry about picking them up. By combining our knowledge of software and hardware, we developed the first design of a robot that “shags” baseballs. Our endeavor was only partially successful. The device was tested on grass, turf, and concrete. The motors did not have enough torque to get moving on grass. The device faired better on turf where it could move, but was quite jerky as the motor drive needed to be high to start moving, but once it was moving, full motor drive was often too much. On concrete, the device could move smoothly but this surface was not indicative of the conditions specified by our use case. Our software uses an onboard camera to take pictures of the field and relay the position of the baseballs to our Raspberry Pi (which acts as the brains of the device). We turn the balls location in the photo into an angle and a direction, and power our motors accordingly. After arriving at the ball, we attempt to pick up the baseball using a custom built arm. While the arm and motors worked independently, there were issues whenever they were both running at the same time.