Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Lee McFarland


This project is the second iteration of an automated foosball table for Yaskawa America as a trade show display. The table is meant to provide an interactive experience which highlights the speed and precision of the Yaskawa hardware. The first iteration of the project was mainly focused on creating the physical hardware for the system and to begin the basic programming for the system. This phase of the project was focused on finalizing the physical hardware of the system, implementing the vision system and to continue the basic programing of the system AI. A third team will be assigned to bring the project to completion by fully implementing the AI system and making any required changes to the physical hardware which are required.

The automated Foosball system is comprised of two major system elements. The first element is the motor cabinet, which houses the PLC, motors and amplifiers used to actuate the system. It also acts as a display case for the motors system. The other major element is the foosball table itself, which is comprised of several subsystem components. The foosball table system contains a vision arch which houses the vision system, a playfield cover which prevents users from injury, and a roof which blocks direct lighting on the table.

Several hardware components were created or modified during this phase of the project. The roof structure was designed and built complete this quarter, as were brackets which connected the motor cabinet and foosball table. A gap cover was also designed and built to cover an exposed portion of the motor cabinet. While not fully completed, the hardware used in the safety system has been begun and should be completed by the future team. The scoring system for the table was also approached during this phase of the project, and it was concluded that the current scoreboard should be redesigned.

The original vision system started by the first team was found to be insufficient to meet the requirements of the foosball system. To simplify the process of creating the vision system, a Cognex Insight 7400 camera system was donate d to the project by Cognex. This camera system was found to be sufficient to meet the minimum requirements of the project with relatively little work. Future teams should focus on improving the frame rate of the vision system.

The AI program developed during this phase is working and playable, though it is relatively crude. Future iterations of the AI program should use sequential function charts to organize the program and predictive play should be implemented. More sophisticated play strategies can also be implemented to improve the playability of the system.