Robota plays ping-pong

Interactive show-off in an exhibition at Lugano, Switzerland

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Robota is a little robot which was built and improved for sometimes in our laboratory. Initially designed to help autistic children, Robota decided to have a break in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. 'There is a party with friends', she said, and she added 'and I'll play ping-pong!'. So we let her go for three months.

In fact, Robota was shown in an exhibition for the general public, which theme was related to robotics. The goal of this 'exhibition element' was for people to, somehow, get more familiar with humanoids robotics. Some current issues and some hopes were explained along the demonstration, at the end of which, the users were able to play with Robota. Using a joypad, they were in control the robot's arms, and had to synchronize their movements so that, ultimately, Robota could launch a ping-pong ball and catch it with her racket.

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