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Basketball Becomes Breeze with Aid of Programmed Backboard

A young entrepreneur has invented a basketball backboard that makes shooting hoops hard to miss.

Engineer and YouTuber Shane Wighton has made a motorized basketball backboard that adjusts using Microsoft Kinect and facial recognition, ensuring that players never, or rarely, miss a shot.

As the ball heads for the backboard at a realistic rate of speed and angle with only 600 milliseconds (a thousandth of a second) between when the ball is thrown and when it hits the backboard, the calculations by the algorithm need to be made in an incredibly short amount of time.

On the YouTube channel Stuff Made Here, Wighton explains that the backboard is tracking the information in the room, including the ball and its trajectory. Three motors give the machine three degrees of motion, and a universal joint connects them to the board. Likely most coaches would hate this backboard, as it would take away the ability for players to improve their games and perfect their shots.

This is not the first instance where Wighton has built a backboard to help people get better shots. In a previous video, he also made a non-mechanical curved backboard that ensures the ball always goes into the hoop.

At first, Wighton said difficulties were found when the Kinect – which was introduced as a motion-sensing controller for the Xbox console in 2010 but was discontinued in 2018 – found it difficult to distinguish between a ball and Wighton’s head. The story on this weird project come from Adam Smith writing in, and since they don’t play a lot of basketball in England historically, then a computer-driven, tri motored backboard, might be just the thing to start real excitement for hoops in the UK.

Another YouTuber, Mark Rover, created a system out that makes everyone an expert dart thrower, guaranteed to hit the bullseye every time.

It might be interesting to see what type of inventions people have thought up while being lockdown for two months. Perhaps an electronic golf ball that always gets a hole in one?