World’s first hockey playing robot
University of Manitoba’s “Jennifer” skates, shoots and scores.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba Autonomous Agents Laboratory (AAL) have introduced its first robotic hockey player. Named after Canadian Olympic gold medallist, Jennifer Botterill, the autonomous hockey-playing robot is adapted from the lab’s previous soccer-playing replicants, but presented the team with bigger challenges.
In addition to keeping robot going in the cold, foremost among those challenges was getting the robot to balanced on its custom-made skates on ice, along with stick handling a small puck and making side-movement slap shots instead of forward motion kicks.
Originally manufactured by Korea’s, Robotis, the 55-cm Jennifer was modified to play hockey by University computer science grad student Chris Iverach-Brereton and his advisor Prof. Jacky Baltes. The pair intend to enter their creation in the DARwin-op Humanoid Application Challenge this May.