Along with whiteboards, MacBooks, and some overworked co-founders, foosball tables are probably one of the most common sights you’ll find at a tech startup. So what could be more appropriate than a high tech overhaul of this retro gaming item? Called RoboSoccer, this nifty Kickstarter reimagining of table soccer combines the concept of the popular original game with a team of impressively agile miniature robots, controlled via mobile app, on a folding pitch.
Up to six robots can take the field (although you only need two to play), with each team identified by multicolor LEDs atop each robot. The bots take control of the ball using a magnet on their nose, which also allows them to shoot. In addition to moving in different directions to outmaneuver one another, the robots can carry out nifty trick shots.
“Robots have powerful abilities: They can shoot the goal flat or through the air, they can express goal celebrations after a scored goal, or freeze the opponent’s movement,” Adrianna Szymanska, head of growth at RoboSoccer, told Digital Trends. “People can personalize their robot players by changing their colors to contrast with opposing players. Omni-wheels technology we have used allows for precise and accurate driving. It’s our significant advantage as standard [table soccer] has dead spots and movement limitations. The lifting mechanism we have used in the robots is patent-pending, and the high capacity batteries allow for four hours of playtime.”
In the future, Szymanska said they are also interested in adding things such as skill-building stats for individual robots, alongside incorporating additional tricks.
“For many people, robots are treated as creations from different planets,” Szymanska continued. “They are quite mysterious, with powerful abilities and unique looks. Robots’ existence in our world is something new and fresh, and this is why people are curious about them. People [also wonder] if robots can beat us [at different tasks] — and this entails the question [of whether] robots can replace us in sports competitions.”
If you’re interested in getting involved, head over to the team’s Kickstarter page. A Super Early Bird package — consisting of two robots, a folding pitch, gamepads, balls, and everything else you need to play — will set you back around $100. As ever with crowdfunding campaigns, we advise that you’re aware of the potential risks inherent in this form of funding. That can include projects which don’t materialize on time or as described.
Nonetheless, if you’re keen to pledge your cash, this looks like it has the potential to be a whole lot of fun. Shipping is set to take place in July 2020.