As an enviable senior design project at Kennesaw State University, students Tyler Gragg, Kevin Kamperman, Cody Meier, and Omar Salazar Lima created their own autonomous pinball machine.
As seen in the videos below, the table is not only nicely finished with an interesting playfield, but works quite well without human interaction.
The machine’s IO system is actuated using an Arduino Mega, with higher-level controls handled by a computer running the Robot Operating System. While the game can be enjoyed manually, for automatic operation an overhead camera tracks the moving ball and calculates its position. When within tunable “flip zones,” the correct flipper is triggered, (hopefully) flinging the ball forward for more points and mayhem!