We’ve talked a lot on the show about the many different skills robots are learning – how to walk, jump, roll, sometimes even fly.

Now we can tell you about a robot that wants to play tennis.

Its name is ESTHER, which stands for Experimental Sport Tennis Wheelchair Robot.

ESTHER is part of a project by Professor Matthew Gombolay at Georgia Tech University.

The robot’s name is a tribute to Dutch wheelchair tennis legend Esther Vergeer.

ESTHER the robot is basically an arm that’s holding a tennis racket and mounted on wheels.

I don’t know if its shots are considered forehands and backhands, but it can hit from either side.

And the research team has also set up a series of cameras around the court.

The cameras track the ball for the robot; then it can figure out the best place to wheel itself on the court, and what kind of shot it should make.

At this point the system is still learning how to play tennis.

In fact, Gombolay and his team have set up the system so that ESTHER can actually learn from its own mistakes and improve its play over time.

And down the road, we could have robot wheelchair tennis players.

Or, we could have human wheelchair tennis players who train with very advanced robots that are more like playing against a real-world opponent than the classic stationary tennis ball machines.

Or, the lessons ESTHER learns about quick movements and reactions and teaching itself to learn from experience could be useful to robots of all kinds.

But I do kind of like the idea of a robot wheelchair Wimbledon, so maybe all of the above?

It can be frustrating to walk around the neighborhood and find old coffee cups that somebody just left on the grass or the road instead of putting in a trash can or a recycling bin.

The startup GaeaStar has a solution.

It’s 3D printing disposable cups made of clay.

So when you’re done with the drink, you can just smash the thing on the ground and leave it there.

Probably don’t throw the cups at anybody though.

Tennis Robot Could Pave Way for Advancement in Fast-Movement Robotics (Georgia Tech)

The Coffee Cups Made From Dirt: Smash Them on the Ground and Walk Away (CNET)

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Screenshot via Georgia Tech University