The golf bot uses a Microsoft Kinect camera and a neural network to adjust the courses

Being able to hit a golf ball into a fairway isn’t exactly new, but building one that can play the accurate short game is a more complex problem. Researchers at the University of Paderborn in Germany have done just that with Golfi, a machine that uses a neural network to figure out how the putt is laid out and how hard it is to hit the ball to get it into the hole from anywhere on the green.

The robot takes a shot of the green using a green and simulates thousands of random shots taken from different positions. It takes into account factors such as the rolling resistance of the turf, the weight of the ball, and the starting speed. said Anika Juncker, a doctoral student at Paderborn Training Golfi on simulated shots takes five minutes, compared to 30-40 hours as the team was feeding data from real-life shots into the system.

Once the Golfi has figured out which shot to take, he or she rolls to the ball and uses a belt-driven gear shaft with a putter mounted to make the stroke. However, the robot does not get the ball into the hole every time. Junker said the robot succeeded in firing bullets about 60-70 percent of the time. That’s still a better accuracy rate than most amateur golfers and at least you won’t see the Golfi fly off the handle if you miss.

However, Golfi would sometimes drive over the ball and knock it out of position. The researchers only tested the robot in a lab, so real-world conditions, such as greens with steep gradients or slopes, might present problems for a system that relies on bird’s-eye view.

In any case, the researchers did not set out to build a robot capable of competing with the professionals. They hope the technologies they used at Golfi can be used in other robotics applications. “You can also transfer that to other problems, where you have some knowledge about the system and you can model parts of it to get some data, but you can’t model the whole thing,” Niklas Witkau, another PhD student at the University of Paderborn and co-leading author, said. IEEE Research.

Back in 2016, a different bot called LDRIC (albeit on the fifth try). I wonder who paid the bill for a round of drinks at the club afterwards.

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