Digital Foosball

The World’s First Digital Foosball Table

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About the Project

Okay, maybe it is a crazy idea to connect a foosball table to the internet. But once you manage to get the table online, you can do all sorts of amazing things with it.

Since we love to play the game and because our job is to create digital solutions, we figured - why not combine the two and build a digital foosball table.

That was the starting point for the project. Many pizzas were ordered, late nights spent programming, and countless testruns followed.

Now we’re really excited to share our first prototype with you.

The Team

How it Works

The Blueprint:

Put simply, the table works like this: a special photo sensor recognizes and tracks when a goal is scored. As soon as the ball passes the sensor, it sends a signal to a built-in Arduino board. Then the small microcontroller notifies our server via WiFi and the data can be processed from our software. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

The Masterplan

The Mobile WebApp:

An important feature to the digital foosball table is our mobile WebApp. It turns your mobile phone into a digital scoreboard. But it also serves as your personal log in screen to set up a new match before you begin a game. The great thing about the app is that it’s completely web based, which eliminates annoying installations while also making it compatible with all modern devices.

The Agency Foosball League:

This is the place where all the collected data comes to life. Here you can see who is really the best player of all your colleagues. On your personal profile you can access more detailed information, such as: your performance over time or who is your most feared opponent. And to make it even more fun, you can earn different badges based on how you play.

More Ideas to Come:

What you see here is only an early prototype. Our heads are full of crazy ideas and concepts for new features. We’re really excited to deploy them soon.

The Foosball Table in Action

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Build Your Own

The Hardware:

First you need some hardware to get your foosball table online. For our prototype we used an Arduino Uno with Wifly-Shield plus two infrared photo sensors. The tricky part is to attach the photo sensors so you can measure when a goal is scored. Since every foosball table is designed differently, it’s tough to suggest the correct installation. But, here is how it worked for us.

Shopping list

Instructions:

Step 1.   Reverse engineer the photo sensor circuit
Step 2.   Test the photo sensor in action
Step 3.   Install the photo sensor in the guideways behind the goals
Step 4.   Wire everything and mount it to a wooden board
Step 5.   Program the Arduino using the provided SDK
Step 6.   Screw the board to the foosball table

The Software:

The software is completely open source. So feel free to download and use it.

More technical details:

The Arduino microcontroller notifies a NodeJS server via HTTP over WiFi. This data is then stored in a CouchDB.

For our Mobile WebApp we used HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to display the score in real time. It listens to the NodeJS server via WebSockets.

The game statistics engine is implemented as a CouchApp. Both apps are powered by Amazon’s EC2 and Cloudfront WebServices.

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