This kinetic surface system can accelerate, guide, and roll a small ball at high speed. The system can also direct, track, decelerate, and stop the ball.
In the proof-of-concept video below, the moving LEDs represent two competing algorithms or 'players' that are trying to roll the ball into the opposing player's goal. High power acceleration of the ball and fast electronic tracking of its movement enables very fast play. (During filming the movement of the players was slowed down to make it easier to understand what is happening in the video.)
This kinetic surface system is based on innovations in electromagnetic actuator technology (patents pending) that can smoothly roll, track and control a ball at high speed. (Other electromagnetic actuator systems tend to move objects by sliding them - this can be slow, clunky and linear.) This technology is also quite easy to manufacture, and it could potentially be used in numerous products: human-computer interface applications, toys, computer games platforms, and software configurable amusement systems. For example, this actuator technology could be embedded into the back of an OLED display screen - creating a high-definition 'mixed-reality' games platform combining real game objects (balls) and virtual objects (virtual footballers, virtual pitches etc).
If you would like to know more about product development plans, contribute to the project in some way, or find out about any of the underlying technologies, please get in contact.
This kinetic surface technology is based around ultra-thin actuators that can be applied to almost any material - textiles, paper, metals, plastics - to create a wallpaper of electronic pixels.
This simple, effective and environmentally friendly invention evolved by combining kinetic surface technologies, advanced manufacturing techniques, and material crafts. It was chosen by the UK government's Digital Catalpult for a Showcase of UK Digital Creativity in 2015.
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