Neil's UPM Beer Demo


Using the Universal Planar Manipulator, I created a demo capable of making the average couch potato even more lazy: I have turned the UPM into a beer retrieval machine (aka BRM).


This demo shows a practical, albeit somewhat silly, use for the UPM. Tables of the future could use this technology to move drinks, remote controls, etc. right into user's hands. Instead of missing the 90 yard touchdown pass while looking down to pick up a beer, one can simply put his hand on the table and the beer will come to him. No looking required!

How it works

The overhead video camera is used to detect when a hand is placed on the table. Then the software calculates a trajectory for the beer can and starts moving it toward the hand.

The beer demo in action

Here are pictures of the demo showing some possible trajectories of the beer can:
Beer Movement 1
Beer Movement 2
Beer Movement 3

Here are some videos of the beer demo in action.

  • Filmed by external camera (sequence shown above):
        Mpeg [ 1.59MB ], Windows Media Format [ 56kbps ] [ 250kbps ]
  • Filmed by external camera (random sequence):
        Mpeg [ 1.86MB ], Windows Media Format [ 56kbps ] [ 250kbps ]
  • Filmed by external camera (another random sequence):
        Mpeg [ 2.23MB ], Windows Media Format [ 56kbps ] [ 250kbps ]
Note: Windows Media Format requires Windows Media Player, available here.

Page created by Neil Alldrin, <>