Kollmorgen – Servo Tennis

Turning a classic computer game into a mechanically-actuated competition

Almost everyone remembers PONG, the computer tennis video game developed in 1972, and the first game ever developed by Atari Incorporated. The ball bounces off movable “rackets” just like those black and white screens of yesteryear. This time, however, the ball is controlled by cables that wind around servo motors. The closest analogy is the Skycam at football games.

Four motors control the ball while linear actuators on each side move the rackets. Even the controllers are servo motors – a clever way to feed encoder signals directly to the drives that control the rackets. Like other Sisu demos, this one has lots of LEDs and its share of music and sound effects. Motor drives are displayed like high-end jewlery in a case at the front of the demo. This allows company representatives to point out all the Kollmorgen products in use.

Beautiful product presentation, a dose of nostalgia, and a little competition made this an exciting demo for Kollmorgen.

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