If you've ever been to a bowling alley, you know that one of the coolest things is how the pins get reset. How does it work? Take a peek at the machinery behind the scenes!

2008 HowStuffWorks

InĀ­ the early days of bowling, respotting the pins was a physically demanding job. There were actually people behind the lanes resetting the pins and sending back the balls.

Today there are amazing robotic devices that do all the pin setting. The automatic pinsetter, first patented by Gottfried Schmidt, was introduced by the American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF) in 1946. This first pinsetter was a monster, weighing nearly 2 tons (1.8 metric tons) and standing 9 feet (2.7 m) tall.

Modern pinsĀ­etters are but a fraction of a size of their predecessors and much more intelligent. In this article, you will see how bowling pinsetters are able to pick up standing pins, clear the lane of any knocked-over pins and accurately reset the pins after every ball.