I am trying to build a robotic cricket wicket. This wicket will autonomously move left/right to intercept any thrown balls. Why am I building this device? To be honest, there is no good reason! On the multitude of pressing problems facing humanity, a lack of sentient cricket wickets is not up there. However, seeing as I am a terrible cricket bowler, this contraption may be the only way that I can hit the stumps! My goal is to finish this project by the end of the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
In my initial conception of this project, I planned to drive the wicket back and forth along a length (3m) gantry system. This structure would be made from 2020 extrusion. The bed would slide back and forth via a motorized wheel that's engaged with the ground.
This was a pretty stupid idea. As you can see in the video, the wheel constantly slips on the ground. If I try applying more normal force, the motor slows down considerably.
I had a few different solutions to this problem: pneumatic wheel, chain-driven system, amr wicket :))))
But it turns out the best solution was recycling. A previous team at the Fablab has built a massive 3D printer. Unfortunately, the mighty project had been scrapped and disassembled in the corner before I came. Fortunately, that means there are some LOOOONG linear actuators that need a new home. I whipped together a coupler to connect my motor to the linear actuator and it is really fast!
I am now printing out new motor/sensor mounts for this actuator. My push goal was to have all of the engineering work done by the end of next week. That'll give me enough time to also finish some exciting projects. Hopefully, I can still make that happen with this timeline!
I set the following schedule for getting this project done:
-Sept. 4th - 8th:: Finish slider system
-Sept. 11th - 15th:: Finish motor actuator system
-Sept. 18th - 22nd:: Do vision tracking system
-Sept. 25th - 29th:: Make video
My hard deadlines are:
-Finish the cricket wicket build by Oct. 6th
-Finish video by Oct. 14th
Technically, I did get the slider system done this week. But I didn't really do much. My productivity has been hampered by the low quality 3D printers I am using. But more importantly, I am held up by just getting distracted so easily. As a solemn vow, I will not listen to podcasts while working as it prevents me from concentrating!!!
I did find out that the extrusion connects together fairly well so there is no need to buy the longer pieces.
I am going to come in Sunday to try to get a headstart on setting up the motor.
I want to build a robotic cricket wicket. What is that?
Well first let me explain how cricket works. In the gentlemen's game, a bowler throws a ball as fast as s/he can at a batter. The batter is trying to hit the ball (with his/her bat😲😲😲). If the batter misses, the ball will hit his/her wicket and the batter will be out. What an exciting game!
Non-commonwealth readers will be shocked to learn that it is extremely difficult for the bowler to hit the batter's wicket. At least it is whenever I bowl 😔😔.
For this reason, I want to build a robotic cricket wicket. This special cricket wicket will automatically move left/right to intercept any pitched ball. The robot will be able to move autonomously using some dollar store CV system.
Why am I building this? Because it will be ****ing cool! Or at least hopefully not cringe! Over the past years, I have been inspired by StuffMadeHere's basketball hoop and I would love to do my own spin on this project for cricket. I actually bought the materials for this project way back in 2022, but I have been procrastinating on actually building the darn thing. In fact, I have carried the materials for the project with me all around the world (literally, I have taken 20m of 2020 extrusuion in my luggage to Toronto, Pasadena, Dubai, Kigali, Boston, and now Taipei).
No more! I am going to finally build this thing. I will post updates on the project every week to ensure I stay focused on finishing the project. To keep progress ticking, I have set a personal deadline to build the robowicket by the end of Cricket World Cup 2023. Stay tuned for results and cringey robots......