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AKIPRESS.COM - It is the dream of Harry Potter fans everywhere – a real life version of Quidditch. Now a Japanese inventor, Jun Rekimoto, has made the game a step closer, with a flying ball containing a tiny drone, Mail Online reported.
He says the ball can be kicked, hit and remotely swerved – and that it will lead to a new generation of cyber sports.
The plastic ball has the ability to hover thanks to a 90-millimetre-wide drone embedded inside it. “Balls are the most popular equipment for sports,” said Rekimoto. “To play with balls, certain physical methods, or vocabularies, such as throwing, hitting, spinning, or kicking have been developed by reflecting the fact that balls obey physical dynamics.”
The Rekimoto's team at the University of Tokyo says its HoverBall could democratize some sports, allowing the ball to stop or slow down for older people or children, perhaps. “For instance, the speed of balls could be too fast for small children, senior people, or people with physical disabilities. We propose a flying ball based on the quadcopter technology.”
“This ball has an ability to stay in the air, and change its location and behavior according to the sports game contexts.”
The system would allow game designers to program the ball to react in different ways to a traditional ball – and could even steer itself away from star players to even up teams.
“With this technology, physical dynamics of a ball can be re-programmed by sports designers, and new ball-playing vocabularies, such as hovering, anti-gravity, proximity, or remote manipulation, can be introduced to extend the way people interact with balls.”