IoT featured soccer table

Soccer table with touch screens, online score registration and RGB strips

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To show the capabilities of custom IoT devices and to help a local LAN-event organisation, TheBlast, we offered the help to create an Internet enabled soccer table.
Thanks to generous donation by Tuborg Fonden we were able to buy a brand new soccer table for us to modify.

We modified the table by adding two touch displays for user interaction, a barcode scanner for user registration. Inside the table we installed two score detection IR sensors and a ball release system, made by using a motor/wheel from an old Roomba robot. Finally we installed 5 meter of RGB LED strip to light up the playfield.
When scores is detected they are immediately registered online, to be displayed on the LAN-event website, where score timetable and all previous matches can be found.

Below you will find more details about the features of the final table and how it was developed.
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The table itself is just a normal soccer table usually seen in bars and game arcades.

Most soccer tables comes with a coin insert, though we didn't want our users at the LAN event to pay. Instead we wanted them to scan their name-tag with a unique barcode, handed to them at check-in. This way we could register the users playing and show the names of these on the event homepage.

To scan the barcode we decided to use a UART laser barcode scanner module, WDL3000, from Winson that we could mount in the side of the table. By drilling a grove in the side of the table the users could scan their card by putting it into this slide.

Connection wise the barcode scanner had a connector with the required UART lines, power lines and an enable line so the scanner could be turned in when required.


Before going into further details about the features of our IoT soccer table let me first present the connector board schematic which will work as our system design.


One of the main features of an internet enabled soccer table has to be the ability to register the scores online.

To allow this we had to do quite an extensive mechanical modification to the aluminium slides in each end of the table.

By installing either a barrier or object detector sensor in the sides of these slides it would be possible to detect the ball when scoring.

We decided to use a ready-to-use IR object detector sensor found on eBay, with tightening hole mount for easy install, which in general made the installation and connection a lot easier.

With a potentiometer on the back of the sensor the maximum detection distance can be set. Whenever an object comes within the set distance an output pin is pulled low, making it easy to detect the ball with any microprocessor.

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  • Preparing metal frames display holding

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:59 0 comments

    To hold the two LCD displays in place on the table and to avoid the users damaging them we ended up welding our own metal frame to hold it tightly on the end of the table. Furthermore we added a sheet of plastic in between the metal frame and the display inside as a type of display protection.

  • GUI design in Photoshop

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:54 0 comments

    To ease the later firmware programming of the menu system we decided to design most of the GUI's in Photoshop in the correct resolution (aspect ratio) so we can easily identify the locations of the different objects when we are going to program the menus.

  • Football table arrived - time to assemble

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:51 0 comments

    Finally the new football table with logos and black sides has arrived - though arrived in pieces!

    So it's time to put together the table and see if we can get it to work as a regular football table at all.

  • Planning the IoT API

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:46 0 comments

    Firmware wise we had to plan the API that the STM32 would be using to connect and communicate with our webserver to save the stats. Thanks to the whiteboard we ended up organizing everything into categories and boxes to get an idea of the use cases.

  • Final connector board design

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:36 0 comments

    For the second board design we decided to get rid of the individual RGB color strips (all the same color) so we could get rid of the high current transistor drivers on there. Instead we would be using a WS2801 controller enabled LED strip so we could control all the pixels individually.

    A 3D rendering of the final connector board design that hooks up to the Olimex STM32 board can be seen below. The schematic and BOM list can be found as the System Design document in the side.

  • Intitial board design

    Thomas Jespersen08/19/2014 at 21:32 0 comments

    Before starting on the second version of the football table controller we designed a custom board too and tested it on an old football table implementing some of the same things as described in this project.

    Though thanks to the kind donation from Tuborg fonden we could realise the project completely so we decided to do a complete redesign of the board.

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tamberg wrote 08/27/2014 at 14:16 point
Nice project. Added it to

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