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ScouterBot: Design of a Low Cost Autonomous Ball-boy Robot

Daniela Chavez Guevara, Jong-Hoon Kim Discovery Lab, School of Computing and Information Science Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33199 dchav016@fiu.edu, kimj@cis.fiu.edu


In 2011, 25 million amateur and professional people played tennis in the U.S alone[9]. People enjoy the game so much that they are willing to pay an instructor approximately $20 – $80 per hour[1][7][14] just to learn the tricks of the game. But as they don’t want to pick up tennis balls after their training, so some of them end up paying an extra fee for the service or hire a personal ball-boy to do the work for them. However, many tennis players don’t want to spend the money for hiring a ball-boy to pick up all the tennis balls they used even though they don’t like to do this tiresome task because they feel the job is trivial but the cost is expensive. So the solution proposed is the creation of a fully autonomous ball-boy robot that would automatically pick up tennis balls while the user is playing a tennis game or during training hours. This solution was reached by building a robot called ScouterBot, which as its name implies, performs the task of “scouting” by using a robot sensing strategy based on ultrasonic sensors, being its principal objective to pick up tennis balls in an open environment without depending on human control. Prototyping and issues of implementation of the ScouterBot are discussed and explored on the paper.