Declining physical activity has created a global health crisis concurrent to COVID-19. According to a survey from students at our school, people have been exercising for shorter amounts of time. Prior to COVID-19, 39.5% of respondents exercised for more than an hour, dropping to 23.7% during the pandemic. Less physical exercise leads to a decrease in physical and mental health and an increase in the risk of serious health problems according to the CDC.
Penguin Empire has decided to use its engineering expertise to tackle this issue head on with the revolutionary product, BALL-E.
BALL-E is a revolutionary new way to play catch while still following COVID-19 guidelines. It creates a game in which a robot and human throw balls back and forth. Adults and kids can exercise while having fun. BALL-E can throw balls in random directions, increasing the players’ exercise. After the player catches the ball, they throw it back into the hopper at the top of the robot, which the robot then uses to throw back to the user. This creates a smooth back-and-forth style of play. If the player fails to catch the ball or misses the target, the robot uses RTLS tags to track and retrieve them using ultra-wide band (UWB) Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) beacons placed in the balls. Central control functions will be handled through C++ code sent to a Raspberry Pi.
We will be updating the community on the progress of Ball-E with more specifics! Currently, we are working on a CAD model and are planning a physical model.