Deep Green, the pool-playing robot from the Robotics & Computer Vision lab at Queen’s University has been making the rounds on other websites recently. Its robot arm uses a huge gantry to move anywhere over the table, and then a special cue stick tool to hit the ball.
It’s hugely impressive, but the size and complexity of the hardware puts it out of reach for most Makers [please -- someone prove me wrong!]. So, that’s why I was attracted to the second half of the video: The students developed an equally impressive augmented reality mode that works without the robot. By using a projector and a camera located above the table, it recognizes the position of balls. As the player moves their pool cue, the system projects the predicted trajectory of the balls right on the table. If you can hit the ball consistently, this could be a great help in visualizing & setting up complicated shots!