A couple weeks ago, we went to play bingo. The more elderly participants were lightning quick, even with many bingo cards in front of them. Once, we won one of the rounds but we were too slow to notice! Not to be outdone, we wanted to make a robot that could beat any person at bingo.
What it does
The BingoBot is a Bingo machine that can get activated by voice. It will take instructions from the caller and mark the corresponding number on the Bingo Sheet. It has an x-axis and a y-axis which will direct the bingo dabber to the right number. A mechanism on the z-axis will make the dabber stamp the designated spot. Erasing the chance of missing numbers and losing out on your winnings.
How I built it
A CAD model was first constructed for visualizing purpose. Most of the components for the physical components were purchased from Home Depot before the hack. The machining of the parts was done during the hack in the university machine shop. The movement of the two sliders was made possible by belts that are mounted on a motor and a gear on each side.
The software uses React for the front end with a flask back end supporting it. The program uses tesseract and the Google Speech API to correctly recognize the correct numbers being called.
Challenges I ran into
- The slider for the x and y coordinates were sensitive to the position of the support and if the framework is not precisely positioned, the slider would not move smoothly
- We needed to design a mechanism for the bingo dauber press down but we encountered problems such as getting not enough force from the z-axis motor
- Arduino had some problem, but we, later on, realized there was a small mistake with our code
- Tesseract was challenging to use correctly with the correct filters to cancel out noise in a photo. The gridlines of the bingo square were especially tricky to remove.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- We got the sliders to work !
- We built all the components from scratch
- Each person on the team learned something new
What I learned
- Trust your teammates
- Take videos of your project in case it suddenly stops working.
What's next for BingoBot
Faster motors will allow for better utility in real life scenarios. Currently, the motors are not strong enough to move the belts easily. With new motors, the BingoBot will be better than ever! Lastly, we believe we can make bingo more fun for all ages.