Would you grow tired of doing the same thing all day long, even if it was something fun like playing basketball? Hoops, a robotic basketball-shooting arm that nails free-throws with 98% accuracy, has been fascinating Science Center visitors for years. As a new addition, visitors to roboworld™ can shoot baskets in competition with the robot!
Previously used for welding automobiles before being repurposed, this robotic arm has no sensing ability at all. Science Center staff program Hoops' aim, then the scoreboard proves the point -- robotic repeatability and precision win the game every time. This is exactly what industrial robot arms are designed to do.
Industrial robots are used on assembly lines to repeat mechanical tasks over and over again, such as painting or welding car parts. Robots are ideal for repetitive mechanical tasks, because they carry them out with a high degree of accuracy. Despite its accuracy, this type of robot is still primitive compared to humans. Its "body" is limited to a few basic movements, and it can't sense or think – it simply acts according to its programming.
Hoops was part of Carnegie Science Center's touring robotics exhibition that opened in 1996. Since then, it has taken more than one million shots in cities across the United States and Canada!