Blog Post

BoxingBots: Kinect-Driven Pneumatic Boxing Robots



At the SXSW Interactive Opening Party hosted by Frog Design and Microsoft, the Coding4Fun team has unveiled their latest invention, BoxingBots!

With BoxingBots you are the controller except this time, forget the screen. You’re controlling a 6-foot tall metal robot that’s trying to punch out your opponent’s 6-foot tall machine. It’s Real Steel in real time.

Video Demo

Watch Laura Foy's video of the BoxingBots in action!

BoxingBots combines Kinect’s motion sensing technology with pneumatic robots in a 6-foot square ring. Two players face off to try to knock each other’s blocks off.

Each robot has

  • 1 On-board laptop PC
  • 70 programmatic LEDs in the head and chest controlled by a Phidgets LED controller board
  • 2 2.5 gallon tanks of compressed air @ 150 PSI
  • 8 12-volt 17amp batteries
  • 2 Roboteq motor controllers that power the four omni-directional wheels
  • 2 5" stroke cylinders that punches/retracts the arms
  • 1 6' stroke cylinder that lifts the head when the robot is knocked out
  • 2 button switches on the chest that are triggered by punches and a Phidget 8/8/8 interface board that controls the relays and buttons switches


How gameplay happens

  • Each robot's on-board PC receive commands over the network from the Admin PC for movement, punches, score, etc
  • Each player stands in front of a Kinect for Windows-enabled PC that interprets their gestures (punch, move in a direction, strafe, rotate) and sends that as a command to the Admin PC
  • The Admin PC manages the game, including pausing, reset, starting, sending commands to the robots and receiving damage data from the robots when the robot has been punched